By Nicole Wilwerding, Contributor
NET, Nebraska Educational Telecommunications, has partnered with the the Nebraska Library Commission for “Campaign Connection 2012: Voter Voices.” One of the participating libraries is UNO’s Criss Library. “Voter Voices” gives the general public the opportunity to voice their opinions on any political issue.
“You basically have two minutes to say anything you want,” Klark Johnson, a circulation supervisor at Criss Library, said. “Then the video gets sent to Youtube.”
The videos are also posted on the project’s official website, votervoices.blogspot.com. Looking at the webpage, it appears that the most popular issue Nebraskans want to discuss is health care. Other Nebraskans discuss gun control and globalization, as well as environmental issues, including oil production and global warming.
In today’s society, people already have multiple ways of expressing their political opinions via social media. However, whatever comments and blogs written in reference to gun control or health care are not always brought to the candidates’ attention. NET selects certain videos that will be shared with the candidates, as well as displayed on television and the radio. NET will also use social media in relation to “Voter Voices,” giving the public voice greater reach and power. Thanks to NET and the Nebraska Library Commission, this project also has credibility that no hashtag on Twitter can match.
“Voter Voices” has recording sites set up in libraries and other public forums across Nebraska. The Criss Library location is special, as students and other Nebraskans can record their two minutes within an old election booth, thanks to Dean Steve Shorb.
“Our Dean was very excited about this project,” Johnson said. “The booth was his idea. He went and got it and everything. It’s really cool. Lots of people have been using it.”
Voters can visit the library during regular operating hours, 7 a.m. to midnight on Mondays through Thursdays, as well as 7 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Fridays, 9 a.m to 5 p.m. on Saturdays, and noon to midnight on Sundays, and record their two cents for Nebraska’s Congressional candidates.