Kentucky assails PBS-YouTube video vote project

Lexington Herald-LeaderOctober 18, 2008 

Kentucky election officials are scrambling to get out the message that a national YouTube project with PBS that encourages people to video themselves voting on Nov. 4 would be illegal in that state.

The "Video Your Vote" project targets first-time voters, asking them to record their full voting experience on Nov. 4, including casting their ballot.

But Kentucky law forbids people from bringing cameras and recording devices into polling places. Secretary of State Trey Grayson said his fear is that if they try it in Kentucky, their video for posterity would say, "Here's me casting my first vote, and I broke the law."

Grayson said Friday that voters should be encouraged to record a video diary about the experience at the polls after they're away from their voting precinct — at least 300 feet away. Those caught recording inside a polling place could be slapped with a misdemeanor.

"I think it's a great use of technology to record that for posterity," he said. "I like that part of the program. But it's like they came up with the idea of recording your vote without thinking of the consequences."

Grayson has cut his own YouTube-based public service announcement to be posted on the popular video sharing Web site on Monday.

"On the YouTube Web site are the words, 'Share your election experience with the world.' Let me be the first to encourage you to do so," Grayson says in his video clip. "However you should wait until you leave the voting area."

YouTube announced the project, a joint venture with PBS, on Wednesday.

"In an effort to see the events of Election Day unfold, YouTube and PBS are teaming up and asking you to video your vote," said Judy Woodruff, senior correspondent for The News Hour with Jim Lehrer on PBS, in an introductory video to project. "We're looking for videos that document the excitement, energy and last-second campaigning on Nov. 4 in addition to the issues you find at voting places, like long lines, broken machines and any other roadblocks to casting a ballot."

Read the full story at Kentucky.com.

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