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Voter Turnout Heavy in National Mascot of the Year Contest

November 4, 2002 at 11:01 AM EST
FALLS CHURCH, Va., Nov 4, 2002 /PRNewswire-FirstCall via COMTEX/ --

Electronic Polling Closes Dec. 20, 2002

Electronic ballots are rolling. Live online polling is tracking votes from around the country. Some candidates are already claiming victory. Americans from around the country are stumping for their candidate like a third-year political science major. While pollsters, lobbyists and campaign coordinators kick into their highest gear for the Nov. 5 election, another election is drawing the attention of our country.

"Politicians, campaign coordinators and volunteers often worry whether or not they will have the necessary voter turnout to bring their victory home," said Pam Girardo, manager, consumer public relations at Capital One. "The National Mascot of the Year contest has not even reached the half-way point and the spirit and enthusiasm already is clearly visible with students, alumni and sports fans rallying behind their candidates."

Beginning in mid-October, 12 feathered, furry and lovable creatures were named as the inaugural members of the Capital One All-America Mascot Team. With the launch of the official Web site, the mascots began competing for the title of Capital One National Mascot of the Year. Fans across the country began logging on in droves to vote for their favorite mascot through real- time, online polling at . The National Mascot of the Year will be announced during the Capital One Bowl on Jan. 1, 2003. No stuffy business suits, empty campaign promises or attack ads in this election. These candidates wear 25-pound suits and can't speak -- but they do know how to work a crowd -- shaking paws, claws and feathers. Not afraid of kissing babies or anybody else for that matter, their campaign tactics also include flips, spins, moonwalks and a myriad of other raw, attention-getting antics often resembling over-sized furry children. The platform they run on is generating school spirit.

Polls ( will remain open until Dec. 20, 2002. At which time the panel of judges, made up of representatives from ESPN, Capital One and the mascot community who selected the 12 finalists, will convene again to determine the winner. The National Mascot of the Year will be selected based on the total number of votes received online plus previous voting results based on criteria that included fan interaction, demonstration of good sportsmanship and community service involvement. In the event that there is a tie, the judges from the original competition will cast a vote for the one mascot among those tied that they feel best embodies the criteria of the competition.

Capital One Financial Corporation ( is a holding company whose principal subsidiaries, Capital One Bank and Capital One FSB, offer consumer-lending products. Capital One's subsidiaries collectively had 48.6 million accounts and $53.2 billion in managed loans outstanding as of June 30, 2002. Capital One, a Fortune 500 company headquartered in Falls Church, Va., is one of the largest providers of MasterCard and Visa credit cards in the world. Capital One trades on the New York Stock Exchange under the symbol "COF" and is included in the S&P 500 index. Capital One is proud to continue the college football bowl tradition that began in Orlando 57 years ago by sponsoring the Capital One Bowl, which will again feature teams from the Big Ten and Southeastern Conferences on Jan. 1, 2003.

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