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January 9, 2008
The New York Times Polling Place Photo Project
2006 Midterm Elections: "Valley Vista School" Petaluma, California. Photographer: Suzuki Cady
The New York Times Polling Place Photo Project "is a nationwide experiment in citizen journalism that encourages voters to capture, post and share photographs of this year’s primaries, caucuses and general election. By documenting local voting experiences, participants can contribute to an archive of photographs that captures the richness and complexity of voting in America.
"Photographs of polling places, and the information that accompanies them, is a visual record of how voting happens in America: where it occurs, what the process looks like, how people act, and, ultimately, how the voting experience can be designed to be easier, less confusing and more rewarding. The Project hopes to collect photographs of every polling place in America.
"In the spirit of public access and broad dissemination, this is an open-source project: all photographs are contributed under a Creative Commons license.The Polling Place Photo Project is a program of The New York Times and AIGA, the professional association for design. William Drenttel of Design Observer initiated the project in 2006."
This ought to be interesting. There will be way too many photos to sift through to make total sense of it, but I like the idea of building the photo database (complete with lots of textual information about each photo, too). This "no photo will be excluded" idea could become an important way to monitor the fairness of US elections. Pictures of partially-punched chads, anyone?