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First-time voters at next week's US mid-term elections are being urged to become election observers for the day by posting video from poll scenes to the web using mobile phones.

With over 500 seats being contested across the country, youth social action movement YouthNoise has partnered with new video sharing website Veeker to solicit "veeks", or "video peeks", via email over MMS from polling stations, rallies, protests and parties.

Contributors will be called "CitiJos" because, YouthNoise said, "mobile videos have become an increasingly important part of the journalistic landscape, as bystanders at newsworthy events often capture the first on-scene images with mobile phones". Organisers aim to identify any voting irregularities.

"Election coverage not so long ago was the purview of television," said Rodger Raderman, chief marketing and product officer at Veeker.

"Very recently, it became more decentralised by the blogosphere. Veek the Vote 2006 carries this trend a step further, giving young Americans the ability to instantly communicate their election day experiences with video. It is an exciting democratisation of reporting on the voting process."

Adoption of mobile media messaging in the US has lagged behind the more mature European space; eight million Americans have captured mobile video according to an October report.

Veeker launched last week to favourable reviews for sharing and syndication features that could be the envy of YouTube.

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Published 3 November, 2006 by Robert Andrews

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