Want to know what it's like to be a disenfranchised voter? I can tell you--it kinda sucks. How do I know? Back in February of 2008 I was one.

See, I'm a registered independent. My vote in the Democrat primaries this year was not counted and it wasn't because I'm not a Democrat--it was because the state of California added an extra hoop that I had to jump through in order to have my vote counted as an indy voter and I didn't see the hoop, so I didn't jump through it.

Want to see proof that I missed the hoop? Go here: http://tv.thepete.com/…feels-like

That's a video of me failing to jump through the hoop accompanied by an explanation of how it happened.

All this was possible because I brought with me one of those still cameras that shoots video when I went to vote. I didn't check the laws before I did it, either. I only pulled it out and started recording once I was safely ensconced in my "booth" where no one could see me and my camera could see only what I was voting. It was an invasion of no one's privacy but my own. But why would I do such a thing?

Back in 2004, and before then in 2000, I had no problem voting for the guy I wanted to vote for. The catch was that loads of people DID have trouble voting. I became concerned that maybe I was too confident in the system--like I was just assuming that I'd notice it if something went wrong.

So, in 2008, I brought my camera along and I'm glad I did. Because the next day, when news came out that there was that extra hoop for us indy voters to jump through I immediately searched my own memory to see if I remember that extra hoop. I couldn't remember one. So, I pulled up the video and voila--I saw it.

VideotTheVote.org is a website that will serve as a clearing house for videos like this during the 2008 election. So, when you vote, bring a camera!! Take video and then upload it to VideoTheVote.org and then go check out other folks' vote videos at VtV's YouTube page here: http://www.youtube.com/…deothevote

This is so important that you do this. Sure, some places don't allow video cameras inside the polling places by law, but that's absurd to me. As long as you shoot your own voting and don't catch anyone else on camera, I don't know why they should care one way or another.

BE AWARE: you still may get caught and suffer legal repercussions but, to me, the risk is worth it. This is our democracy we're talking about here and each of our votes (regardless of who we vote for) is important.

Once again, that's VideoTheVote.Org!
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