Twin Cities historic sites vie for Facebook votes

Online voting for 25 local historic sites began today on Facebook, but some eager mouse-clickers can’t seem to cast their votes.

There’s plenty of excitement fueling the Partners in Preservation contest. The historic sites — which include beloved buildings, parks, churches, museums and other places — are vying for a piece of $1 million in grants. American Express and the National Trust for Historic Preservation announced the 25 eligible places today.

Yet the voting process is confounding some would-be voters. The contest has also apologized for a “temporary glitch” that caused problems for some users.

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American Express spokeswoman Caitlin Lowie says this was the first time the contest has moved its voting platform to Facebook, and the glitch was resolved within 15 minutes. The volume of traffic could have contributed to the problems, she said: “Within an hour, more than 1,000 people went to vote, which we really weren’t expecting.”

What can we say? Minnesotans love their history.

Glitches aside, the voting process is not intuitive. Here are some tips:

You must first “like” the Partners in Preservation page. That should pull up the voting page. If not, check to see if there is a “VOTE” tab on the left-hand menu. It should bring you to an interactive map featuring all 25 sites and their descriptions. From there, you should be able to click on a place and vote for it.

Full disclosure: MPR’s Fitzgerald Theater is one of the contenders.

Voting continues until Oct. 12. The winner of the popular vote is guaranteed up to $125,000. The remainder of the $1 million in grants will be given to a number of the other sites after review by American Express, the National Trust for Historic Preservation, and an advisory committee co-chaired by Minneapolis Mayor R.T. Rybak and St. Paul Mayor Chris Coleman.

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