Voters Share the Moment Online
By Jose Antonio Vargas
A few minutes after she voted, a 23-year-old woman named Erin rushed outside her polling place in Maryland, turned on her digital camera and started recording.
"I voted. I voted. It's done," she said.
Looking straight at the camera, her arms somewhat shaking, she said: "It's 8:05 a.m. now. I got here around 6:55." Then she turned the camera to a throng of people still waiting outside. "This is the line," she continued. "It took me about an hour to get through it."
This is what it means to digitally document your experience. It's something personal gone public, and it feels all the more personal because it's shared, mostly with your friends but also with strangers. Erin uploaded her two-minute videoin her YouTube channel, where she has 6,120 subscribers, then updated her Twitter page, where she's followed by 237 people. Most are supporters of Sen. Barack Obama. "I've officially Voted!!!!!" she wrote on Twitter. "Uploading vid of the polls right now!!! OBAMA 08!!!!" She also posted the video on her personal blog and on her MySpace profile.
Many others are virtually sharing their vote across the Web.
Said Erin, "Everybody's probably, like, I can't believe she's over there doing this, walking with her camera in her face. But there are a ton of people documenting it. I am so happy. I am so moved. I tried my hardest not to cry while I was in there."
As of 1:46 p.m. EST, Erin's video has been viewed 278 times. About 40 people wrote comments. A user named blklacquer wrote: "good deal, I voted early to avoid the lines." Another user, Imeraldgurl, wrote: "HI Erin...I'm so proud of you!"
Posted at 3:39 PM ET on Nov 4, 2008
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