True Obama campaign staging location director Jay Smith makes the call to close the German Village field office at the end of Election Day, Nov. 7, 2012, in Columbus, Ohio. Alex Farris
Election Day in Columbus, Ohio | Alex Farris Photo Blog
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2012.11.09
I went back and forth on this one. This whole "covering Election Day Obama campaign volunteers in Columbus" idea started with talking to Harold, an Obama '08 volunteer, while covering the President's event in Columbus in October. And yet, I ended up not using his material because I got enough on that day. I thought of making the end result just audio, and then I thought of putting the photos on top to make an audio slideshow, and then I settled on keeping the audio and photos separate. Makes the navigation through all this stuff freer, I guess. Finally, the decision to follow Obama volunteers instead of Romney volunteers came from talking with Harold and wanting to finish that story. Of course, that didn't pan out, but something else did. Seriously, these people are dedicated.

So, here it is, finally. I'm sure if I didn't have a day job outside of journalism I would have finished this less than three days after the election. (By the way: Everything was recorded on my iPhone, that gorgeous piece of journalistic magic that made shelling out money for a dedicated audio recorder optional.)

As for the photos: I didn't do any coverage in 2008 (besides one Obama-with-a-baby photo that became my first work published in the IDS), so this presidential election has been an eye-opener. I carried over some lessons from covering the midterm elections in 2010 for the IDS, but of course this year everything played out on a much larger scale. I'm no Damon Winter or Charles Dharapak, but maybe I'm getting there, and I'm sure Demotix appreciates it.

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Signs adorn the parking lot of the Ohio Democratic Party on Election Day, Nov. 7, 2012, in Columbus, Ohio. Signs adorn the parking lot of the Ohio Democratic Party on Election Day, Nov. 7, 2012, in Columbus, Ohio. Alex Farris
Obama local canvassing captain Shakti Khalsa briefs volunteers on their get-out-the-vote responsibilities on Election Day, Nov. 7, 2012, in German Village in Columbus, Ohio. Obama local canvassing captain Shakti Khalsa briefs volunteers on their get-out-the-vote responsibilities on Election Day, Nov. 7, 2012, in German Village in Columbus, Ohio. Alex Farris
Bob Gunn, of Wales, checks his get-out-the-vote list on Election Day. Bob Gunn, of Wales, checks his get-out-the-vote list on Election Day. Alex Farris
Obama campaign local staging location director Jay Smith looks at a copy of The Columbus Dispatch on his desk on Election Day. Obama campaign local staging location director Jay Smith looks at a copy of The Columbus Dispatch on his desk on Election Day. Alex Farris
Amy and Dani, Obama campaign volunteers, knock on doors in a get-out-the-vote effort on Election Day. Amy and Dani, Obama campaign volunteers, knock on doors in a get-out-the-vote effort on Election Day. Alex Farris
Obama local logistics captain Brian Cole sits on a field office floor on Election Day. Obama local logistics captain Brian Cole sits on a field office floor on Election Day. Alex Farris
Bumper stickers sit on a table in a field office on Election Day. Bumper stickers sit on a table in a field office on Election Day. Alex Farris
Alex Farris
Alex Farris
Alex Farris
Collin Sauer plays with a balloon before going with his parents on a get-out-the-vote canvas. Collin Sauer plays with a balloon before going with his parents on a get-out-the-vote canvas. Alex Farris
Collin Sauer and his father, Steven, knock on a door in a get-out-the-vote effort on Election Day. Collin Sauer and his father, Steven, knock on a door in a get-out-the-vote effort on Election Day. Alex Farris
Jennifer Palmer, Collin Sauer and Steven Sauer knock on a door on Election Day. Jennifer Palmer, Collin Sauer and Steven Sauer knock on a door on Election Day. Alex Farris
Jay Smith laughs after Brian Cole opened a fresh box of buttons near the close of polls. Jay Smith laughs after Brian Cole opened a fresh box of buttons near the close of polls. Alex Farris
Jay Smith makes a late phone call in the campaign field office as his white hair shows fallen onto his shoulders. Jay Smith makes a late phone call in the campaign field office as his white hair shows fallen onto his shoulders. Alex Farris
Alex Farris
Obama campaign staging location director Jay Smith makes the call to close the German Village field office at the end of Election Day, Nov. 7, 2012, in Columbus, Ohio. Obama campaign staging location director Jay Smith makes the call to close the German Village field office at the end of Election Day, Nov. 7, 2012, in Columbus, Ohio. Alex Farris
Jay Smith closes the German Village field office. Jay Smith closes the German Village field office. Alex Farris
Obama campaign volunteer Caitlin Patterson checks her phone for election returns at a bar near the German Village field office. Obama campaign volunteer Caitlin Patterson checks her phone for election returns at a bar near the German Village field office. Alex Farris
Local Obama campaign logistical team director Brian Cole, staging location director Jay Smith, and his wife Marianne watch results come in on Election Day at a bar in Columbus, Ohio. Local Obama campaign logistical team director Brian Cole, staging location director Jay Smith, and his wife Marianne watch results come in on Election Day at a bar in Columbus, Ohio. Alex Farris
Obama campaign volunteers cheer as cable news channel MSNBC calls Ohio for President Obama. Obama campaign volunteers cheer as cable news channel MSNBC calls Ohio for President Obama. Alex Farris
Marianne Smith (left, facing), Shakti Khalsa, and Jay Smith celebrate MSNBC calling victory for Barack Obama in Ohio. Marianne Smith (left, facing), Shakti Khalsa, and Jay Smith celebrate MSNBC calling victory for Barack Obama in Ohio. Alex Farris
Brian Cole and Shakti Khalsa embrace after the networks projected victory for Obama. Brian Cole and Shakti Khalsa embrace after the networks projected victory for Obama. Alex Farris
Obama campaign supporters Bettina Rounds and Bob Bonadies react as cable news channel MSNBC calls Ohio, and thus the Electoral College, for Barack Obama. Obama campaign supporters Bettina Rounds and Bob Bonadies react as cable news channel MSNBC calls Ohio, and thus the Electoral College, for Barack Obama. Alex Farris
Alex Farris

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