Tag Archives: Voters

Election day a mighty lesson for new multimedia journalists

Be a multi-tasking journalist

On election day, Karen and I were assigned to go to a polling station in Rosslyn, Virginia, a swing state.

We got up early in the morning at 5 a.m. and looked for voters to interview. Our assignment was to record a sound bite (better to be a Chinese speaker), take photos and videos in one-man band. After the interview, we had to send the photos and audio to RFA immediately. We had a lot concerns on our minds. Where would we find internet? Would the quality of the sound bite be useable? Would the language barrier be a problem? Those were huge difficulties we had to tackle.

That day, everything went smoothly. We did street interviews as people queued up at the polling stations, and we even got in the polling station with media passes. It was a great and unique experience.

After two hours of intense work, we got to rest and see our report get published. It was like witnessing my baby being born.

Blue or red? Political choice is everything in DC, even at stores

By Edith Leung

In the run-up to election day, people can not only vote early at the polls, they can also vote with their wallets at restaurants and other stores.

The lime burrito (left) represents Obama, and the queso burrito is for Romney.

At Columbia Heights in Washington D.C., the restaurant Lime Fresh Mexican Grill offers two flavors of burritos, queso flavor for Mitt Romney and lime flavor for Barack Obama. One of the workers, Sarah Issa, said that the queso burrito is more popular than the lime burrito. So does that mean Lime Fresh’s customers are mostly Republican?

“Though the queso is more popular, people here are usually Democrats. It is just an advertising strategy,” said Issa.

A 24-year old American banker, Michael Walker, also said that he purchased his burrito for its flavor, not for its political gimmick. “I am still undecided between the two candidates,” said Walker.

Beyond taste, the shop also raised funds for the two parties, and customers’ political leanings were more obvious: the Republican piggy bank was empty.

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Early voting plays a more important role for citizens and campaigns

By Karen Chan

More early votes are expected in this election as more people take advantage of the practice and campaigners talk it up.

Voters line up outside Judiciary Square in Washington to cast their ballots early.

Early voting, which was first offered in 1992, allows people in 32 states and Washington DC to cast their ballots by November 4. Election day is November 6 this year. The practice has become more popular in the last decade. The percentage of votes that come in early increased from 7% in 1992 to 30% in 2008, according to the latest statistics.

“Early voting is more and more important because an increasing number of states is allowing people to vote earlier. It is estimated that one third of voters cast their ballots before election day,” says William Galston, a former policy advisor to former president Bill Clinton.

Recently, the Republican Party urged members of the military to vote in advance, but Galston said the call to vote early would not matter much.

“Military people who have a sense of duty will vote anyway, the only question is when,” Galston said.

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Kids cast their vote for US president

By Phoebe Chau

The first Kids Election voting event is held at Madame Tussauds in Washington D.C.

Under the US Constitution, only US citizens over the age of 18 have the right to vote — but at a special election event at Madame Tussauds in Washington, hundreds of kids rushed to cast their ballots for their favorite presidential candidate three days before their parents even.

The event was held for the first time by the wax museum, whose general manager, Dan Rogoski, believes the mock election would get young voters to learn more about each candidate and the process of voting.

“We think it’s a unique event that no one has done before, and it’s a great opportunity for kids to come out and get involved in the election process,” said Rogoski. “We have an authentic voting machine here. Kids can step up, and they will vote for either Barack Obama or Mitt Romney.”

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Young Obama campaigner goes the distance

By Wendy Chan

David Elizondo believes Barack Obama will protect the rights of Americans.

Meet David Elizondo. On this rainy and gray Sunday in Washington D.C. before the arrival of Hurricane Sandy, Elizondo sits at Ben’s Chili Bowl a local restaurant famous for their celebrity customers including Hillary Rodham Clinton, comedian Bill Cosby and Obama supporters.

Elizondo, 23, is one of the many young political activists in Washington who is working hard to get Barack Obama reelected as President of the U.S.

In addition to volunteering at Obama’s campaign office here in Washington D.C. he said he will help the Obama campaign in Ohio, a key swing state that is up for grabs for the Democrats or Republicans.

Being a campaign volunteer is a lot of work and is time-consuming. This is his first time volunteering directly for the Obama campaign. However, he works at the Human Rights Campaign and he together with other volunteers endorse political candidates. They have endorsed Obama for this election so a lot of the work they do and money they raise goes to Obama.

“Obama’s reelection would be the greatest reward for me. He supports gay rights including marriage equality and equal rights in the workplace,” he said. “I think he is better than [Republican candidate] Mitt Romney because he actually makes the difference and works for those rights.”

Elizondo came from Houston, TX. He went to Texas A&M University and came to DC to work for the Human Rights Campaign and to get out of Texas for a while. His family are Republicans. Four years ago, Elizondo said he did not vote in the 2008 presidential election because he thought he was not mature nor educated enough. Now he has university education.

Fast forward to 2012, as a campaign volunteer, Elizondo helps voters go through a sometimes complicated process of registering and casting their ballots. He even helps drive some people to the polls so they can vote.

“I also knock on people’s doors and explain why they should vote for Obama,” he said.

“Some people do not have transportation, so we may offer to drive them to the polls,” he said. “We just want people to get out and vote, and I believe it definitely makes a difference.”

The Art of Campaigning in D.C.

By Jennifer Tang

Washington D.C. has always been heavily a Democratic city, so most presidential campaign activities usually skirt this city and move their campaign paraphernalia (posters, stickers, and billboards) to other cities.

However, D.C. citizens have their own ways to express their views via different channels. It is not difficult to spot political signs as well as logos in the city. Below are some ways that locals show their party loyalty.

At Georgetown University, students express their stance on their dormitory windows.

   

On the streets, cars are decorated with a variety of bumper stickers and logos, showing which candidate the driver supports.

    

Some people created their own logos and posted them around the city, just like on this mailbox in the Columbia Heights neighborhood.

Creating campaign stickers is very special in America. Americans (or at least the people we have met in Washington D.C.) are very knowledgeable about the presidential election. Is it because they have the right to votes, whereas for us in Hong Kong, the vote for the chief executive is out of our hands? Yet another eye-opening experience.