"Video Your Vote" On PBS And YouTube

[ Posted Monday, October 20th, 2008 – 14:35 UTC ]

While 2008 is guaranteed to be an election "like no other" in American politics for many other reasons, it will also be the first election where the voters themselves may wind up doing the best job of policing the election process itself. The Public Broadcasting System (PBS) and YouTube have teamed up to offer a powerful tool to aid this effort: "Video Your Vote."

In a way, this was almost inevitable. The prevalence of cell phones capable of recording video has grown so fast in the past few years that this will be the first election where if anything hinkey does happen at the polls, there is an extremely good chance that someone watching will pull out a phone and record the video for the world to see. That's a powerful tool, indeed, and may combat fears from both Republicans and Democrats over voting irregularities on Election Day. At least somewhat.

Because now, if you spot (and record on video) something unusual at your polling place, you will have an easy way of uploading it to a place where journalists will have immediate access. The PBS "Video Your Vote" web page encourages everyone to "go out on Election Day and film your voting experience." It then goes on to offer an enticement: "Upload it to our channel, and your video may be featured here, on YouTube, or even as part of NewsHour's Election Day coverage on November 4."

The YouTube "Video Your Vote" channel's page (where you actually upload your video) offers the slogan: "Share your Election Day Experience with the World."

Now, I'm not saying that this is going to lead to a perfect election. And thousands of lawyers from both political parties (as well as from independent groups) are even now preparing to fan out across the country as a check on any mischief. Which also helps.

But PBS and YouTube have provided individual citizens with the ability to quickly get video of any shocking discrepancies directly to the media, where it can be aired on Election Day itself. This, as I said, could turn out to be a very powerful tool indeed. Anyone with a cell phone who has witnessed anything questionable at their local polls in past elections should bookmark these links, just in case.

As Thomas Jefferson once said, "The price of freedom is eternal vigilance."


Cross-posted at The Huffington Post


-- Chris Weigant


6 Comments on “"Video Your Vote" On PBS And YouTube”

  1. [1] 
    Osborne Ink wrote:

    For the last couple of years, I've been mulling the idea of an internet channel called "Little Brother." It would feature user-generated content of government corruption, police brutality, and corporate malfeasance caught on video.

    This is the flip side of the surveillance society: now we all have the power to put Big Brother on camera!

  2. [2] 
    Michale wrote:

    And how, exactly, will fraudulent and staged videos be prevented???

    We have all seen how the hysterical Left goes about reporting the "news". I can't tell you how many people swore up and down that they "saw" and "heard" the video where someone yelled "KILL HIM" at a Palin rally. Yet, not ONE SINGLE PERSON could produce that video and a USSS investigation proved that there was NO evidence (IE no video) to support the claim..

    So, given the propensity for the hysterical Left (and the hysterical Right) to simply make stuff up, what's to prevent this from happening with these videos??


    crossposted to HuffingtonPost

  3. [3] 
    akadjian wrote:

    I voted early yesterday and was pleased that early votes in Ohio are cast on paper ballots.

    Another reason to vote early! (And vote often :) )

  4. [4] 
    Michale wrote:

    I'll probably be going out today or tomorrow to vote..

    I think we use a touch screen down here in Florida, so I'll be bringing my digital camera to record my vote. And to prove to all you yahoos that I did, indeed, vote for Obama. :D


    The site is wanky again!!! :D


  5. [5] 
    akadjian wrote:

    Hahahah. You crack me up, Michale. That's pretty funny.

  6. [6] 
    Chris Weigant wrote:

    OK, I've been remiss at answering comments here, but I plead being swamped with pre-election work.

    Osborne Ink -

    I think that's a great idea! It's true, we live in a "macaca moment" world now, where absolutely ANYbody at absolutely ANY time can get caught on video. I hadn't thought about the "Little Brother" aspect until I wrote this, but, like I said, I think you have a great idea.

    Michale -

    Thanks for the warning. Sorry about the wankiness...


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