Grandma's Tales

November 7, 2006

Voting can be Video cool!

Filed under: Language — Geeta Padmanabhan @ 5:57 pm

Long lines, eligible voters turned away, voter intimidation, misallocation and malfunctioning of voting equipment

Sounds awfully familiar, doesn’t it? Elections in 2000 and 2004 in the US had all this and more. In 2000, when all this happened, people just went away dazed. When they happened in the 2004 elections, some of it was reported but not enough to make an impact. Later, a more complete picture emerged. And shocked some right-thinking people. A group of them took it upon themselves to expose these malpractices and made a movie called “American Blackout”. The movie went on to win the Sundance Festival Award.

For the present congressional elections, a project called “Video the Vote” has been put together by a group of really concerned people. They proclaim themselves as non-partisan. They say they were inspired by the movie. They have the support of organisations like

If you have a video camera and time to spare, Video the Vote would like you to register with them as a videographer. Before you do this, you click to read the very specific guidelines they have pasted on their pages. [In fact, we all should. Pretty enlightening stuff!] Once you have signed up, this is what Video the Vote would like you to do:

“Starting this election, citizen journalists—people like you and me—will document problems as they occur. We’ll play them online, spread word through blogs and partner websites, doing our part to make sure the full story of our elections is told.”

More info on the project from the web site.

Video the Vote was created by Ian Inaba of the Guerrilla News Network, John Ennis of Shoot First, and James Rucker of The three originally sought to provide a platform to help independent filmmakers coordinate their efforts on election day—documenting election problems and pushing those stories into the mainstream media. The idea morphed into a populist program where ordinary people could participate. They’d simply agree to be on-call to document any Election Day problems that arise in their area; the only requirements being having a digital video recorder, a cell phone, and broadband Internet access, and agreeing to respect governing election law.

Looks like a wonderful idea. What do you think?
Want to check out the trailer of American Blackout and read more about this project? Visit the web site. And watch the trailer. I did.


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