From long lines in the rain at Lynnhaven Colony Congregational Church Precinct in Virginia Beach, Va., to the saga of Nick Harris, a resident of Ballwin, Mo., who had to chase his vote all over town after his polling place said he was sent an absentee ballot and could therefore not vote, Americans have been documenting their voting experiences on the Video Your Vote Project, a joint production between PBS, NewsHour and YouTube.
Brian in Virginia Beach captured a long line of voters just as the doors opened Nov. 4 at 6am.
Brian says he has voted at the same location for 17 years and never had to wait more than a few minutes. But this year there are already “hundreds and hundreds and hundreds of voters ready to cast their vote in this key swing state.”
Long lines were documented earlier in Marietta, Cobb County, Ga., where Leonard Witt filmed an early voting line with a wait of over two and a half hours. Most voters were patient and very excited for the “privilege of voting,” calling it the most “wonderful feeling in the world,” but others said they had “better things to do – I know that sounds horrible, but I have a child waiting for me.” That voter had just left a polling station where there was a four hour wait.
In a five-part Video Your Vote submission, student Nick Harris traveled across town after poll workers told him he couldn’t vote.
Also submitted, the story of Colin in Bluffton, Ohio, “population … less than 4,000.” Originally from South Sudan, Colin talks about how his parents never got to vote for “anything ever,” and he pride he feels for being “Voter Number 56.”
And then there was Ms. Mildred Pace in Columbus, Ohio, voting at the proud age of “97 and a few days.”
In addition, NewsHour Extra sent cameras to 50 teachers across the country, resulting in videos such as this one from Sutherland Middle School, in Charlottesville, Va., in which students interviewed elderly residents about their first voting experience and whether it “is a bigger step for America: the first African American president or first female vice president.”
Some students took the opportunity to reflect on the importance of this election and how the next president could affect their lives.