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Election 2012: YouTube seeks voters’ videos for its Elections Hub channel

Election Day is almost here, and it’s been quite some build-up this time around. We’ve seen Clint Eastwood talking to an empty chair, Mitt Romney hammer President Obama in the opening debate and a hurricane called Sandy turn things upside down in more ways than one.

As Obama and Romney begin nursing their bruised and battered vocal cords following a punishing campaign which saw both of them manically criss-crossing the country in a last-ditch effort to persuade voters in crucial swing states, YouTube has put out a call to voters requesting videos of their Election Day experiences as they head to their local polling station to cast their ballot in an election too close to call.

“Regardless of whether you’re a veteran or first-time voter, taking part in the electoral process is a powerful experience, and one that we know many of you will document in some way, just like you did in 2008,” the video sharing site’s Olivia Ma wrote on the YouTube blog on Monday.

She added, “Whether you’re vlogging about which candidate you support, capturing footage of the long line at your polling place, or encouraging your friends to get out of the house and go vote, we’re inviting you to send us your Election Day videos.”

Ma suggests voters either tweet their submissions to @YouTubePolitics or simply include #YouTubePolitics in the video title, promising that a selection of the submissions will be featured on the YouTube Elections Hub channel.

The special election channel has been featuring extensive coverage from the likes of ABC News, Al Jazeera and the New York Times, and has plenty of live coverage lined up for Tuesday as people go out to vote.

So if you fancy trying your hand at a spot of citizen journalism – with the possibility that your work might end up being shown alongside coverage by broadcasting giants – you know what to do.

Something to keep in mind, though: YouTube reminds vloggers to check their state law for guidelines when it comes to polling station activities. It’s good advice – the last thing you want is to be marched away from the polling station before you’ve had a chance to have your say in this tightly contested election.

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