Today, millions of Americans go to the polls to pick the next president and thousands of journalists spend all night covering and analyzing the day’s events. Yes, today is Election Day.
Covering elections in the U.S. is tricky business. Florida, Georgia, Kentucky, Michigan, Nevada, North Carolina and Texas do not allow any photographic or recording equipment in polling places. Many other states have 100-foot buffer zones around polling places and prohibit any loitering, talking to voters or advertising in those zones.
Over at NBC News, the cyber journalists have figured out a way to get inside the polls from a voter’s perspective—through Instagram.
Electiongrams, is an interactive map that actively collects photos with political hashtags like #decision2012, #vote, #election, #obama and #romney. The photos are then displayed in the states that they were geo-tagged in. The result is a fascinating visual insight into the American democratic process.
The latest use of Instagram as news, Electiongrams is sure to fill with more photos as the day goes on. The observations are extremely varied—there are hundreds of “I Voted” stickers, countless political T-shirts, as well as ballots and views inside polling places. And, yes, there are photos taken within polling places in Texas and Georgia—two states that explicitly ban photography at the polls.
To get your photos on NBC’s Electiongrams map, use these hashtags: #nbcpolitics, #decision2012, #decide2012, #democracyplaza, #vote, #vote2012, #election, #election2012, #obama, #obama2012, #romney and #romney2012.