Here's the answer:
In Massachusetts, observers are allowed to be in the polling place, outside the guard rail. Observers, including media, can observe and video the election process from behind this guard rail. However, if there are too many observers to fit in the space, the warden at the polling place may ask such observers to pool their resources. This is generally a bigger issue for a video camera which usually requires additional space for such equipment.I asked because of two campaigns.
A video camera is limited to viewing only the same as the observers. A video camera cannot be used to record audio of names being checked on the voter list pursuant to General Laws chapter 54, section 76. Also, the video cannot capture a voter actually marking their ballot (no zoom).
Further, pursuant to General laws chapter 56, section 25, it is against the law to allow the marking of his ballot to be seen by any person for any purpose. This includes a voter photographing their own ballot after marking it.
Based on information received from the National Association of Secretaries of State, it is our understanding that the “Video Your Vote” feature is seeking to capture an experience of a voter, using interviews after they have voted and outside of the polling place itself. Interviews inside the polling places in Massachusetts will not be allowed as they would interfere with and disrupt the voting process.
We hope this information is helpful and please do not hesitate to contact us with any questions.
1. YouTube - Video Your Vote:
"YouTube's Video Your Vote, a non-partisan program produced in partnership with PBS, encourages American voters to document their experiences at the polls on Election Day.
The Video Your Vote channel is also a one-stop-shop to view exclusive videos from voter registration experts, election reform activists, and state officials, as well as video footage from the PBS archives for a historical look at voting through the years.
You can also see exclusive footage produced by the online team at the News Hour with Jim Lehrer."
"On Election Day this November 4, PBS and YouTube invite you to join thousands of other citizens across the country to document democracy in action. Video Your Vote is a project designed to shed light on voting in America through the eyes of voters like you; and we're asking you to share videos of your experiences on Election Day and upload them to YouTube as soon as you've shot them -- ideally as early as possible on November 4th. "
2. Mass Vote - Eye on Democracy:
On November 4, 2008 millions of Massachusetts residents will go to their local polling places with the intention of voicing their opinion on who they want to be in their local, state, and national government. Most will have no problem casting their ballots on Election Day and will feel empowered. Some however will face administrative challenges that prevent their voices from being heard. Whatever the case may be, we want to hear their stories through you.Update - Here's another:
Eye on Democracy is a project of MassVOTE in coordination with: Suffolk University, The Hyams Foundation, Access Strategies Fund and The Boston Foundation.
3. The New York Times - Photograph Your Polling Place:
The 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.