October 15, 2008 By News Report
YouTube has partnered with PBS to empower American voters to upload their Election Day voting experiences to YouTube.
The initiative educates voters on the entire process and a wide array of issues associated with voting in America, while enabling the world to watch pivotal moments in this historic election as they unfold. In the first presidential election since YouTube's inception, this program aims to gather massive amounts of polling place video, with the channel serving as an online library for Election Day footage.
"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," said Steve Grove, YouTube's head of news and politics. "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."
Starting today, registered United States voters can share their voting experiences via the Video Your Vote YouTube Channel. On November 4, the channel will serve as the premier online destination for up-to-the-minute coverage from voters contributing videos straight from thousands of precincts across the country.
Some of the best videos will be showcased on PBS television, as part of The NewsHour with Jim Lehrer's Election Day broadcast. They may also be used throughout PBS' election coverage, both on-air and online. YouTube users are asked to tag all of their Election Day videos "videoyourvote." Events, for instance, that hinder the voting process should be tagged, "pollproblem." These videos, as well as those documenting the spectrum of the entire voting process, will be easy to find on the channel and analysts from PBS' political team will then review some of them and offer commentary on how the election played out.
"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," said Judy Woodruff, senior correspondent and political editor of The NewsHour With Jim Lehrer. "This is the YouTube election, and we're thrilled to be a part of it."
In addition, YouTube and PBS will distribute 1,000 Flip Video camcorders through Pure Digital Technologies Inc.'s Flip Video Spotlight Program so that participating non-partisan nonprofit groups and local PBS stations across the country can also capture polling place activity.
"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," said Jason Seiken, senior vice president, PBS Interactive.
As Election Day excitement rises to a boil, people are encouraged to visit the Video Your Vote channel to view exclusive videos from: BlackBoxVoting.org, Center for Governmental Studies, Citizen Media Law Project, Common Cause, HowCast, Lawyers Committee for Civil Rights Under Law, People for the American Way Foundation, Rock the Vote, Video the Vote, Why Tuesday? and more.
Some states and counties have regulations against the use of recording equipment at polling places on Election Day. YouTube and PBS remind voters to please check with individual polling places on rules and regulations -- more information can be found on the Video Your Vote channel.