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FAQ

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FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS
  • How does MTV Fantasy Election ’12 work?

    Fantasy Election works like this: build a “dream team” of candidates who are being truthful, transparent and civil on the campaign trail + get active in Election ’12 = win bragging rights, up to $25,000 cash and help get us closer to the democracy we deserve. Fantasy Election mimics a lot of what people love about Fantasy Sports, but instead of rewarding touchdowns and penalizing interceptions, it rewards honesty and penalizes incivility. It also rewards YOU for getting involved in the 2012 Elections, including reading campaign news, watching the Presidential debates, checking-in to a town hall event in your community…or even just testing your political knowledge with our “Rapper or Republican” and “Democrat or Diva” quizzes. Ultimately, this game is about trying to have a “Fantasy Election”: one that’s fun, one where candidates are honest and transparent, one where you get rewarded for getting involved, and one with a talking unicorn.

  • But politics isn’t like football or baseball. How does Fantasy Election score candidates?

    In Fantasy Election ‘12, Presidential and congressional candidates are rewarded when they exhibit the behaviors we should expect from those pursuing elected office and penalized when they don’t. We’ve partnered with 15 best-in-class non-partisan organizations and use the data they publish every day – on everything from fundraising transparency, to if the candidates have made their position on key issues known, to fact-checking the claims in Obama and Romney’s ads – to award and deduct points in the game.

  • Who decides whether my candidate is being honest, transparent, etc.?

    Candidate scores are based on the objective data we get daily from our awesome, non-partisan partners. You can see the full breakdown of all of our partners, what data they provide, how many points we give for each behavior and more over on the Scoring page.

  • How did you decide to score candidates on the values of transparency, honesty, engagement, etc.?

    We worked with more than two dozen experts in political accountability and civic engagement over the last year to develop this scoring system. Our number one priority was that each of the values be indisputable. For example, you can’t make a case for why politicians should ever be dishonest while campaigning – or how not openly disclosing who is donating to their campaign could ever be a good thing. The other factor that helped determine which values we chose was whether there was objective, publicly-available data to measure it.

  • This scoring system sounds cool, but also kind of confusing and imperfect. Eh?

    We admit it’s a lot to process. We saw an opportunity to take a bunch of great data, pull it into a single view (we’ve been thinking of it as a political “accountability dashboard”) and wrap a game around it. So we went for it. And there’s no question that the scoring system is imperfect. Nothing quite like this has ever been built before, and this is very much an experiment. We hope you’ll share what you like and dislike about scoring with us, and if you have ideas on how to make it better, we’d love to hear from you.

  • Some candidates in the game have lost lots of points within various categories, but their total score is 0. Why is that?

    Fantasy Election is built upon 15 streams of data from the best non-partisan political accountability organizations in the country, but we don’t have “perfect” data on every candidate in the game.  As such, we didn’t feel it was fair to candidates to represent their total score as a negative, and we set the lowest possible cumulative score as 0.  Remember though - if a candidate loses points while on your active roster, he/she will still lose points for your team.

  • Is there anything I can do to boost my players’ scores?

    You can engage with them through social media or by contacting them through their offices – the same way you can reach out to them before they vote on a bill or any time you want to raise a concern. Remember, it’s their job to listen to you. Tell them to get active with the game by engaging their constituents on Facebook, Twitter and foursquare. You can also encourage them to complete Project Vote Smart’s Political Courage Test, make sure they’re submitting their campaign events to CQ Roll Call or anything else we’re awarding points for. Check out the page for more.

  • How do I know which candidates will help my team?

    The candidates with the highest scores will help your team! Keep track of your players and check out their individual stats to see which players will give you the most points. You can always add, drop or trade players if you’re not satisfied with your roster.

  • How often are my candidates’ scores updated?

    Candidate scores are updated in real time all week long. Some points will be rewarded every day as they happen (e.g. Facebook and Twitter activity), while others are posted once a week (e.g. Wesleyan Media Project), bi-weekly or monthly (e.g. OpenSecrets.org). We post the data to the game as soon as we get it from our partners.

  • A candidate on my team tweeted but I didn’t get points. Fix it!

    Email us at fantasyelection@powerof12.org and let us know what’s going on.

  • You say that *I* can get rewarded for getting involved in Election ’12 through MTV Fantasy Election. What does that mean?

    We think it’s important to celebrate candidates who do right by voters and hold those who are hurting our democracy accountable. We think it’s even more important to have informed and empowered young voters flexing their political power. So Fantasy Election includes lots of ways for you to earn “bonus points” – including reading campaign news, checking in to election-related events IRL and on-air, and testing your political knowledge. Check out the Bonus Points tab of the game for more info and to start earning bonus points.

  • What actions can I take to earn the most points?

    The biggest chunks of points come from checking in to campaign-related events on Foursquare. You can also give yourself a nice boost by answering Daily Challenge questions every day and checking in to election-related programming you watch on TV (including everything from the Presidential debates to Situation Room with Wolf Blitzer) via Get Glue. Other ways include inviting your friends to play Fantasy Election and reading campaign news on our partners’ sites. Check out the Bonus Points page to learn more and get started.

  • What political events can I check into for points? How can I do it?

    After connecting your foursquare account to the game, shout #fantasyelection in your check in and your points will rise! But remember – we reserve the right to take away points if we find out the event isn’t related to the 2012 Election, so use #fantasyelection accurately. If someone in your league seems to be abusing this feature, please contact us at and we’ll look into it. Also, please note it may take up to 24 hours for points from your check ins to hit your score.

  • What news shows should I check out for more points?

    We have a list of political and news programming that you can check in to via GetGlue, but we want you to gain points for any programming you watch to get informed on the Election. Use #fantasyelection in your check in and you should see your points rise! But remember – we reserve the right to take away points if we find out the programming isn’t news or related to the 2012 Election, so use #fantasyelection accurately. If someone in your league seems to be abusing this feature, please contact us at and we’ll look into it. Also, please note it may take up to 24 hours for points from your check ins to hit your score.

  • My friends are cheating, can I report them?

    You bet you can. Email us at fantasyelection@powerof12.org and let us know what’s going on. Or better yet, use this form.

  • How often should I log on to Fantasy Election?

    Every day, all the time! Your players’ scores are updated every time they do something naughty or nice, so be sure to keep track of your scores to max your points. Also, remember that your actions count, too: you can keep playing the game in real life by checking in while watching the news, going to political events, and even answering daily challenges on your phone to win extra points. You can win prizes just for logging in!

  • When will my draft happen?

    Auto-drafts happen every SATURDAY at MIDNIGHT (ET) from August 11th to October 20th, 2012.

  • Can I do a live draft?

    To keep things simple and make it super easy to start a league, MTV Fantasy Election ‘12 features candidate pre-ranking and an auto-draft. If enough folks tell us they want to be able to live draft, we’ll explore adding this feature to future versions of the game.

  • How do I start or bench players?

    You have until MIDNIGHT (ET) SUNDAY to set your team for the upcoming week. Once the week has started (12:01am (ET) MONDAY), your lineup is set for the current week. You’ll only earn points from players on your active weekly roster. You can set your lineup for next week at any time, but it won’t take effect until 12:01am (ET) the following Monday.

  • When can I trade a candidate who is bringing my score down?

    You can trade a candidate on your team for a candidate on another team in your league at any time. If the other person agrees to the trade, you’ll get your new player(s) at MIDNIGHT (ET) on SATURDAY. You can set your lineup on Sunday and start your new player at that time.

  • Is there a limit to the number of trades I am allowed to make?

    Nope. Go nuts.

  • How many players can I have on my roster?

    12 total: 2 Presidential candidates, 5 Senate candidates and 5 candidates running for the House of Representatives. Each week you can start 1 Presidential, 3 Senatorial and 3 Representative candidates.

  • Why does every team get two Presidential candidates?

    MTV Fantasy Election leagues can have up to 12 teams, so if every team only got one Presidential candidate, there wouldn’t be enough to go around. By enabling every player to have two candidates for President, we’re giving you more freedom to strategically start different candidates each week. You’ll probably learn more about the candidates by having more than one on your team, too – even if you’ve already decided who you’re voting for.

  • Do I have to stay in my league throughout the game?

    Once the MTV Fantasy Election “regular season” begins on August 27th, you’re free to leave your league up until the draft happens (the first one will be on Saturday, September 8th). You can only be in one Fantasy Election league at a time. Once you’ve joined a league during the regular season, you can’t switch to another. So choose wisely.

  • How do I start a league / should I start a league?

    You can start a league by clicking “create a league” on the first page you hit after clicking “Play Now” on the home page. You can invite your Facebook friends and keep it private, or make it public and let randoms in, while still being able to invite your Facebook friends. Once you have five teams in your league, you’re good to go! You can have a maximum of 12 teams in your league. Don’t feel like being the cruise ship director and organizing a league? No worries. Join a public league or get your friends to create leagues and invite you. Either way, you’re in.

  • What gets posted to Facebook, and can I turn it off if I want to?

    We’ll never post anything to Facebook on your behalf without your permission.

  • Is anyone allowed to play, or do you have to be of voting age?

    Fantasy Election uses Facebook log-in to play, so you have to be 13 years or older and have a Facebook account. You can sign up for a free account here: www.facebook.com.

  • When can I start winning prizes?

    During the Fantasy Election “regular season.” We anticipate that the first prizes will be given out the week of September 3rd.

  • Who wins the game / when does the game end?

    The game ends at 11:59pm (ET) on Election Day, November 6th, 2012. Scoring will continue for candidates for about a week after, in case there is a backlog of data or undecided races. The grand, first and second prize winners will be drawn from their respective sweepstakes after this time. Weekly, Daily and Random prizes will be awarded on a daily and weekly basis. See the complete sweepstakes rules for all the ways you can win.

  • What do winners get?

    There’s so much stuff! From the grand prize of a fantasy VMA weekend for you and 3 friends PLUS $25,000 cash, to electronics packages, more cash, gift cards and exclusive MTV content, there are over 3,000 different prizes you can win.

  • But winning the game is too hard!

    You don’t have to win the overall game to win prizes. With eight (yes, EIGHT) different sweepstakes, you have many chances to win prizes, whether or not you’re one of the top point earners. See the complete sweepstakes rules for all the ways you can win.

  • Is MTV partisan?

    Absolutely not. We’re beholden to one party, and one party only: young people. Every one of our partners is non-partisan, and several of them have won Pulitzer prizes and other accolades for holding politicians of every persuasion accountable.

  • Why did MTV make this game?

    To create a fun new way to empower Millennial voters. For the past 20 years, we’ve been breaking boundaries while working to simplify the electoral process and amplify the voices of young voters. Our hope is that young people will use Fantasy Election as a new way to learn about and get involved in the election, while also holding candidates accountable.

  • You said this game would help make me a “political power player.” How so?

    First, by giving you a window into how those running for the Presidency and Congress are conducting themselves. We can learn a lot about how someone would govern based on how they run their campaign. And second, by giving you the virtual power to “add” and “drop” candidates – understanding that you have the real power to “add” and “drop” candidates when you step into the voting booth on November 6th. With more than 45 million 18-29 year olds eligible to vote this year, Millennials can have a major impact on the upcoming elections.

  • How will my information be used?

    Check out our Disclaimer to read more about how anonymous data will be used for educational purposes. Wanna read more? Check out our Privacy Policy and Terms of Use.

  • Who developed Fantasy Election '12?

    MTV teamed up with HYFN, a renowned digital agency who has created social experiences for some of the most recognized brands in the world including Nike, Coke, Disney, Universal and more, to develop Fantasy Election ’12.

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