About Video the Vote
Video the Vote ensures timely, complete, and accurate reporting of voter suppression and election irregularities by organizing citizen journalists to document elections in their communities.
How it Works
Video the Vote operates through a simple three-step process.
- Volunteers sign up online, giving us their email address, cell phone number, and video proficiency.
- On Election Day, Video the Vote has volunteers monitoring national voter protection hotlines. When calls come in that warrant documentation, we dispatch the closest volunteer to get the story. We also obtain footage from roving videographers documenting the election process in their communities.
- Volunteers then upload their footage to our web site where it is available for immediate viewing by the media and the public.
During the 2000 and 2004 elections, voters faced numerous problems at the polls: long lines, list purges, voter intimidation, misallocated and malfunctioning equipment. But while these issues had enormous impacts on the electoral outcomes, coverage of voting irregularities consistently took a back seat to calling races. Days and weeks later, a more complete picture of voter disenfranchisement emerged, but it was too late. The elections were over and the media had moved on.
In 2006, Ian Inaba of the Guerrilla News Network, John Ennis of Shoot First, Inc., and James Rucker of ColorOfChange.org decided to launch a project to make sure no voting problem went undocumented. They originally envisioned a platform to help independent filmmakers coordinate their efforts, but the idea soon morphed into a populist program through which ordinary citizens could become on-call election monitors. In September 2006 the three put out an online call-to-action to which more than 1,300 citizen journalists responded. These volunteers represent the heart and soul of Video the Vote. They are people like you and me who contribute their time and expertise to make sure that the greatest democracy in the world has the greatest election system in the world.
In 2008, Video the Vote grew its volunteer base to more than 3,700 people who submitted over 1,000 videos, a nearly ten-fold increase from our 2006 campaign. We also expanded our efforts to include pre-election investigations of issues like caging, vote flipping, and early voting. Video the Vote also became a project of the Citizen Engagement Laboratory, which will continue to manage the effort in upcoming elections.
Video the Vote would not be possible without the support and collaboration of a wide array of partners. For a complete list click here.
Video the Vote is made possible by the generous support of the Tides Election Administration Fund, the Fledgling Fund, the Mitchell Kapor Foundation, and individual donors.