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Rules and Regulations



The following are the rules and regulations for the Connecticut Secretary of the State’s Office (CT SOTS) SPEAK OUT CT PSA Contest 2012 (the “Contest”).


“Speak Out CT”, is a new Public Service Announcement competition for Connecticut college age students.  Students are invited to develop a 30 second Public Service Announcement designated to engage and motivate other people their age to register and vote.


Since 18-20 year olds won the right to vote in 1971 the participation of young voters has steadily trended downward, up until the 2008 election.  For 18-24 year olds particularly, voting is a habit they have not yet developed.  They need to have messages and reminders repeated to them often in order to encourage them to make voting part of their civic lives.


There are an estimated 95 million “millennials” and about half of them are of voting age.  They are the largest and most diverse generation in history and will represent 1/4 of the electorate in 2012.  By 2020 the millennia generation will account for more than 1/3 of the electorate.  Through new technology they are more intimately connected with each other than any generation before.  It is Secretary Merrill’s goal to use social networking strategies to communicate an effective “new voter” message.


Eligibility:  Each Contest Entrant must be a full time college student and either: 1) be enrolled in a university or college located in Connecticut; or 2) be a Connecticut resident. Residents of the province of Quebec, Canada are ineligible to participate. Residents of Cuba, Iran, Syria, North Korea, Myanmar (formerly Burma), Sudan or other individuals restricted by U.S. export controls and sanctions are also ineligible to participate. The Contest is void in these countries and in any other nation, state, or province where prohibited or restricted by U.S. or local law.  The CT SOTS office reserves the right to limit, or restrict upon notice, participation in the Contest to any person at any time for any reason.


Submissions to the Contest may be made by individual students or teams of students (“Entrant”).  The Submission must be an original work and all individual Entrants agree not to use, reproduce, incorporate or display any third party material or work, in whole or in part in creating their Submission, or violate any third party proprietary rights or intellectual property rights, including but not limited to copyright or trademark rights, or otherwise violate any applicable U.S. law or the law of the individual Entrant’s country of residence.


Dates for Submissions: Entrants must make their Submission to the CT SOTS no later than 5:00 pm on April 16, 2012 to Kevin Bronson, Secretary of the State Office, State Capitol Building Suite 104, 210 Capitol Ave, Hartford, CT 06106. CT SOTS reserves the right to modify these deadlines or to cancel the Contest at any time for any reason. 


Submission Focus and Target Audience:  The message of the public service announcement shall be to address how to inspire the young voters to register and vote in the November 2012 election.  The commercial must have high impact, be innovative and respectful.  The submission must include the election date (Tuesday, November 6, 2012).  The submission must be suitable for airing on broadcast and cable television and must comply with all FCC rules and regulations, and any applicable federal, state and local laws and regulations.  The entry shall be nonpartisan and shall not directly name or infer the name, symbol or likeness of any past or present political office holder, candidate, government agency or political party.  CTSOTS reserves the right to reject any submission because it fails to meet any of the Contest rules, is in poor taste, or is of unacceptable quality, in the sole discretion of CT SOTS. 


Judging: Submissions will be judged by CT SOTS (or a panel of judges determined and selected in the sole discretion of the CT SOTS).  The following criteria may be used in ranking the submissions: persuasiveness, effectiveness, creativity, cinematography, script content and structure, sound design, lighting, editing, acting, artistic expression and professionalism.  The CT SOTS reserves the right to add, delete, amend or modify the judgment noted criteria at any time, either with or without prior notice.  Each submission will be ranked accordingly, with one Grand Prize Winner.  In the event a potential winner is disqualified for any reason, the eligible Entrant with the next highest rank in the pool of Entrants will be chosen. In the event that no completed Submissions are received, no prize will be awarded. Determinations of CT SOTS judges are final and binding. Winners must be present at the awards ceremony unless previously excused by the CT SOTS and will be notified at the awards ceremony. For a list of the winners see the CT SOTS website after May 7, 2012.


Prizes:  One Grand Prize will be awarded to the first place winner.  The Grand Prize includes but is not limited to broadcasting the PSA on Comcast Cable networks prior to the November 2012 election and airing the PSA during upcoming college sporting events. The first place winner will be announced at a ceremony on May 7, 2012, time and location will be determined by the CT SOTS.


Technical Specifications:  The Submission shall be 30 seconds in length, with a possible professional reduction of up to 4 seconds devoted to a tag line added by CT SOTS after the conclusion of the contest.  Entries shall be submitted on a DVD (2 copies) in a DVD, AVI or Quick Time Format together with the Submission Form.



Legal Disclosure:  By entering, all Entrants represent and warrant that their Submissions are entirely their own original creations, and that they have written permission from any person, or from the owner of any property, appearing therein, which they shall provide to CT SOTS with the Submission.  The Submission shall be nonpartisan and shall not directly name or infer the name, symbol or likeness of any past or present political office holder, candidate, government agency or political party.  All model/property releases shall be on a form supplied by the CT SOTS.  Such model or property releases shall include irrevocable permission for use of the image of likeness of such person or property appearing within the Submission for all uses, including without limitation for advertising, publicity and promotion purposes without additional compensation.  Entrants unconditionally assign and transfer  all rights, title, interest and claims in and to the Submissions entered in the Contest, including without limitation, the copyright therein, to the Connecticut Secretary of the State’s Office (“CT SOTS”).  Entrants agree that all Submissions shall become the sole and exclusive property of the CT SOTS and will not be returned.  By participating in the Contest, Entrants agree to cooperate with the CT SOTS in promoting the Contest and their Submission, and to attend the awards ceremony. By accepting a prize, all winning Entrants agree to the use by CT SOTS, its agents and assigns, of Entrants’ names, likeness, biographical information and/or Submission for any advertising, publicity and promotional purposes without additional compensation, unless prohibited by law.  Entrants shall be solely liable for any applicable federal, state and/or local tax associated with any prize, award or payment.


 Indemnification: By participating in the Contest, Entrants agree to indemnify and hold harmless Sponsor, its advertising and promotion agencies and their respective parent companies, subsidiaries, affiliates, partners, representatives, agents, successors, assigns, employees, officers and directors, from any and all liability, for loss, harm, damage, injury, cost or expense whatsoever including without limitation, property damage, personal injury and/or death which may occur in connection with, preparation for, or participation in the Contest or preparation of a Submission, or possession, acceptance and/or use or misuse of prize or participation in any Contest-related activity and for any claims arising out of any activities related to the Contest or a Submission, including claims of copyright or trademark infringement or violation of privacy or publicity rights.


Questions and Additional Information: It is preferred that all questions be submitted by email. Responses may be disseminated by email to all other contestants. The CT SOTS reserves the right to not respond to any question or provide additional information.



Kevin Bronson

Secretary of the State Office

State Capitol Building, Suite 104

210 Capitol Ave

Hartford, CT 06106



Tel: (860) 509-6261