Sunday, November 05, 2006

Video the Vote: Sending videographers to monitor voter polling sites

In 2000 and 2004, we saw many problems at the polls: long lines, eligible voters turned away, voter intimidation, misallocation and malfunctioning of voting equipment. These stories were largely ignored as they took a back seat to the calling of races on Election Day.

Ian Inaba's new documentary film "American Blackout" received a Special Jury Award at the 2006 Sundance Film Festival. The film takes a look at the disenfranchisement of the Black voters in America and corruption in the 2000 and 2004 national elections. Inaba, 35, is a journalist for the Guerrilla News Network and directed the music videos for "Mosh" by Eminem and "Time and Time Again" by Chronic Future.

Now, Inaba wants to bypass the mainstream media and provide real-time media coverage of any problems that arise at voting sites. The "Video the Vote" campaign will send volunteer videographers to the upcoming mid-term elections and in greater numbers during the 2008 presidential election. Brilliant.

As Inaba tells WireTap, "We want to provide same-day footage and provide an alternative narrative in real time, so that we can all have a more complete picture of what occurs in our elections. We're dispatching videographers all over the country working closely with the Election Protection lawyers and volunteers. We found there is a big desire out there to do this. We'll do it in November and again in 2008. We already have hundreds of video volunteers nationwide."

This is the sort of thing people need to be doing: grassroots, cut throat, get-it-done-yourself and stop relying on the major media outlets.

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