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Quiet choice behind the curtain

A photo illustrates that after candidates' fervent appeals, it's up to the people to choose a victor – one vote at a time.

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Mary Knox Merrill - staff

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Covering an election is a test of endurance, patience, and reflexes. On assignment during the New Hampshire primary, I crisscrossed the state and photographed candidates talking to thousands of supporters in boisterous arenas. But no matter how choreographed the campaign events were, it came down to the voters on primary day.

The simplicity of this image makes it stand apart from other photographs of bustling activity that day. I positioned my camera parallel to the voting booths, lining up the strips of color, and waited for a person to enter. I couldn't help but be drawn to the repetition of red, white, and blue both on the drapery and in the school gymnasium.

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It was an instance where the environment became the subject and the person in the frame secondary.

I am drawn to this image because, despite its bold colors and graphic composition of perpendicular lines, it is quiet. One person. One vote. All who have voted can relate to that man behind the curtain. They know that after a bombardment of commercials, mailings, and speeches filled with promises, it is up to them to decide.