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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!"

By Web Politics Editor  |  November 4, 2008; 3:39 PM ET
Categories:  The Clickocracy  
Save & Share:  Send E-mail   Facebook   Twitter   Digg   Yahoo Buzz   StumbleUpon   Technorati   Google Buzz   Previous: RI: Flawed Ballot, Suspicious Powder
Next: CT: Turnout North of 90 Percent


I think congress should pass more legislation protecting the American species {fortunatus opulentus}.
They seem to be so rare and growing more so every day. According to the latest studies they number less than 6 million but control forty percent of the wealth.
When Obama becomes president these noble animals will be hunted ruthlessly.
Contact your legislators before we lose more them to his cruelty.
They are the closest thing we have to royalty.

Posted by: seemstome | November 4, 2008 6:34 PM | Report abuse

After a little thought, my patriotic pride that Erin was so thrilled to vote has ultimately trumped my urge to ridicule her as another featherhead of the YouTube generation.

Posted by: mcdooley | November 4, 2008 6:05 PM | Report abuse

Voter suppression in Sikeston, Scott County, Missouri. Police blocked off street in front of polling place in predominantly African-American part of town, claiming they were doing "maneuvers." After refusing to move at the request of two local attornies, a county official was called to come in from the county seat and order the "maneuvers" to stop.

Posted by: pennyterrell | November 4, 2008 5:34 PM | Report abuse

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