Picturing Primaries

Readers voting in New Hampshire’s primaries today, make sure to bring along your cameras: The New York Times has just re-launched the Polling Place Photo Project, “a nationwide experiment in citizen journalism that encourages voters to capture, post and share photographs of this year’s primaries, caucuses and general election.”

Sharp design observers may recall that this was an idea originated and executed by Bill Drenttel and AIGA during 2006’s mid-term elections. Bill approached us late last year with a proposal to overhaul it as a Times project, in collaboration again with AIGA. The editors really took to the idea to heart, and working with staff here, Bill and AIGA’s technology partner Thirdwave moved mountains to make it happen for this early stage of the campaign.

We quietly and preliminarily put up this site last week during the contest in Iowa, which is actually a caucus and therefore not an ideal subject for the kind of single-frame documentary photography we’re looking for. But New Hampshire is a proper primary with polling machines, and therefore was an ideal kick-off. As the marketing blurbs state, the project will run throughout the primary season and then into the general election — we hope to capture some fascinating visual documentation of democracy in action. When it’s election day in your state, remember to snap a photo to share with us.