(Update: It's been brought to my attention that George Wallace did announce his ticket giveaway during early voting. OK. But it's still, evidently, against federal law.)
The Miracle Mile Shops at Planet Hollywood will air CNN's live Election Night coverage starting at 3 p.m. PT on Tuesday on the 130-by-40-foot LED video screen outside the mall. There'll be full sound, too.
As a journalist about to plunge into coverage of this election for three different national outlets, I cannot overstate how smart this is. Does it even matter if many tourists on the Strip will be riveted? They probably will be, but who cares? The worldwide media will be seeking an unusual visual, of course. What could convey the importance and worldwide obsession with this news event quite like the notion that it has swept up even the most unserious people on Earth, vacationers on the Strip in Sin City? I predict Planet Ho should get quite a lot of what they call in the business "impressions" from this entirely free move.
Meanwhile, on the flip side, Flamingo comic George Wallace announced today he's giving away one free ticket to his show to each person who brings in an "I Voted" sticker to the box office by Nov. 11. That sounds like a nice idea, except for two things. First, Starbucks just abandoned its plan to give away free tall coffee to just voters on Election Day because of fears that that could be in violation of federal election law because it's illegal to reward people with stuff for voting. Starbucks spokeswoman Valerie O'Neil issued a statement tonight that said: “To ensure we are in compliance with election law, we are extending our offer to all customers who request a tall brewed coffee." So free coffee for everyone, folks!
But the other reason why Wallace's idea is just a cheap promotional stunt: He announced it today instead of, say, two weeks ago. In Clark County, 53 percent of eligible voters have already voted. Only 80 percent are expected, so about two-thirds of those planning to vote are done. And very few of them still have their "I Voted" stickers. Fewer still are the tourists who will bring theirs from points unknown. I'm betting that fewer than a dozen people, if that, take him up on this offer.
P.S. I'm scheduled to be Dave Berns' guest on KNPR at about 10 a.m. PT Tuesday for a little while talking about what I'm finding at the polls, so you can listen live at knpr.org. I'll also be Twittering throughout the day, but may not be able to blog. My Twitter updates appear to your left on this blog, in case you haven't noticed that before.