In the last few elections, much has been made about election fraud, most of it by people denied the right to vote, or who used electronic voting machines and saw their vote flipped from one candidate to another. But what if you could videotape your experience?
Well, actually, you could then, though not as easily as now, and certainly in 2000 you wouldn’t have had a place to share it. On Wednesday PBS, YouTube and a host of others teamed to announce “Video Your Vote.”
Video Your Vote is a project that encourages voters to videotape their Election Day experiences upload their Election Day voting experiences to YouTube
As part of Flip Video’s Spotlight Program, YouTube and PBS will distribute 1,000 Flip Video camcorders participants who agree to make nine short videos for Video Your Vote: three before voting, three while at the polls, and three after voting — and who also promise to upload them to YouTube ASAP after recording them.
GroundReport.com, a user-submitted news site, is also participating, and will be giving out Flip Video cameras as well. There are likely to be others jumping on, also.
Special tagging should be used: all Election Day videos should be tagged “videoyourvote,” while videos of issues in the process should be tagged “pollproblem.”
In their press release, Steve Grove, YouTube’s head of news and politics said:
“Voters have documented each step of the 2008 election on YouTube and this phenomenon will culminate on November 4 as people head to the polls to determine the forty-fourth President of the United States. This partnership with PBS, an organization known for offering rich perspectives, will help voters examine all aspects of voting from the registration processes, to reforms, to technology and election administration, to the actual casting of ballots.”
The best videos will shown on The NewsHour with Jim Lehrer on Election Day, and some may also be used throughout PBS’ election coverage, on-air and online.
PBS added the following in the press release:
Judy Woodruff, senior correspondent and political editor of The NewsHour With Jim Lehrer:
“This program takes the best of PBS and The NewsHour, our editorial reputation and broadcast reach, and combines it with YouTube’s tremendous online video community to share polling place footage from Maine to California and everywhere in between for all to see. This is the YouTube election, and we’re thrilled to be a part of it.”
Jason Seiken, senior vice president, PBS Interactive:
“By providing a way for local-level voters to ‘video your vote’ YouTube, PBS and our local stations will empower thousands of people across the country to take an active — and personal — role in the democratic process.”
There is a key point, however: cameras and video equipment are not allowed at polling places in some states. You need to check; here’sone place you could look, as supplied by GroundReport, though it is dated 2006.