Your voting booth selfie may be punishable by law.
It's seems like they think of voting some disgusting exercise akin passing bodily fluids. These voters are the best ambassadors for voter participation.
Some of the statutes are actually a misappropriate of laws to prevent counterfeit state documents. But it's completely asinine to think that selfie photos could ever fool an electronic voting machine. Most newspapers and even the election boards post a voided sample ballot weeks ahead of the election. How could a voter ever cause a public harm by sharing a selfie on social media?
Now, taking photos of someone else's private voting decisions is an obvious affront to that voter's privacy, and should not go unpunished.
New Hampshire's statutes were recently struck down in federal court. A federal appeals court said New Hampshire’s ban on voting booth selfies “is like burning down the house to roast the pig.” In a unanimous vote, a three-judge panel of the First Circuit Court of Appeals in Boston upheld a lower court ruling that declared the state’s ban unconstitutional. It was the first time a federal appeals court considered the issue. A 2014 New Hampshire law criminalized voters snapping photos of their ballots and sharing them on social media. Such actions were punishable by a fine of up to $1,000. A federal judge blocked the law’s enforcement a year ago and the state appealed citing a need to discourage vote buying.
So much for the state motto of ; "Live Free Or Die".
§267109. Disclosure of vote Prohibition Admissibility as evidence.
No person shall, within the election enclosure, disclose to any other person how he voted; nor shall any person expose his ballot to any other person.
Any person deemed guilty of a misdemeanor under provisions of this act shall, upon conviction, be confined to the county jail for not more than one (1) year, or fined not more than One Thousand Dollars ($1,000.00) or both.
Laws 1974, c. 153, § 16110, operative Jan. 1, 1975. d
Any person who electioneers [campaigns] within three hundred (300) feet of any ballot box while an election is in progress, and any person except election officials and other persons authorized by law who remains within fifty (50) feet of any ballot box while an election is in progress shall be deemed guilty of a misdemeanor.
Salon Magazine went into great detail to help us understand which states have a problem with voter selfies..
STATES WHERE BALLOT SELFIES ARE ILLEGAL
ALABAMA: Not allowed because voters have “a right to cast a ballot in secrecy and in private,” said a spokesman for Secretary of State John Merrill.
ALASKA: A state law bans voters from showing their marked ballots, but a spokesman says there is no practical way to enforce it.
COLORADO: Ballot selfies or any public dissemination of a marked ballot are considered a misdemeanor. A 2016 bill to repeal the ban failed.
FLORIDA: Photographs are not allowed in polling places or of mailed ballots.
GEORGIA: Law prevents photos of ballots or the screens of electronic voting machines.
ILLINOIS: Banned by a law that considers “knowingly” marking your ballot so that another person can see it is a felony that carries of prison sentence of one to three years.
KANSAS: Secretary of state says a selfie showing a picture of the actual ballot violates state law.
MASSACHUSETTS: Taking a photo of a completed ballot in a polling location is banned in Massachusetts. But the state’s top election official, Secretary William Galvin, says there’s little the state can do to prevent it. Photos of mailed ballots are also banned.
MICHIGAN: Michigan bans photographs of ballots, but a resident is challenging the law as unconstitutional.
MISSISSIPPI: Photos showing how someone marked their ballot after voting are prohibited.
NEVADA: Photos inside polling places are not allowed, except by the media. Photos of mailed ballots are also banned.
NEW JERSEY: Law prohibits voters from showing their ballot to others. A pending legislative measure would allow voters to take photos of their own ballots while in the voting booth and share it on social media.
NEW MEXICO: Law prohibits voters from showing their marked paper ballot “to any person in such a way as to reveal its contents.”
NEW YORK: Photos showing a completed ballot or indicating how a person cast their vote are not allowed.
NORTH CAROLINA: Photographing or otherwise recording a voted official ballot is not allowed.
SOUTH CAROLINA: Law bars voters from allowing their ballots to be seen. A 2012 state attorney general’s opinion says that makes it illegal to reproduce a ballot by cellphone, video camera or iPad.
SOUTH DAKOTA: Secretary of State Shantel Krebs says ballot selfies are not allowed because they can be considered influencing a vote or forcing someone to show proof of voting.
WISCONSIN: State law prohibits sharing photos of ballots.
STATES WHERE THE LEGAL STATUS IS MIXED OR UNCLEAR
ARIZONA: Bars photography within 75 feet of polling places. But the Legislature changed the law that barred showing photos of completed ballots in 2015 to allow posting of early ballots on social media.
ARKANSAS: Nothing in state law prohibits taking photos while in a polling place as long as it’s not disruptive or being used for electioneering purposes, but state law on sharing voter choices is unclear.
CALIFORNIA: Gov. Jerry Brown signed a bill last month that repeals a 125-year-old law barring voters from showing people their marked ballots. The change will take effect nearly two months after the presidential election, but legislative analysts have found no occasion of the ban being enforced. The author of the bill, in fact, has been sharing constituents’ photos of marked ballots on social media since the law passed.
DELAWARE: Has a policy against cellphones in voting booths, but elections Commissioner Elaine Manlove said: “I don’t know that we can control what happens behind the curtain.”
IOWA: Law prohibits the use of cameras, cellphones or other electronic devices in voting booths, so Secretary of State Paul Pate has asked voters not to take selfies with ballots. Photos of absentee ballots are OK.
MARYLAND: Bans electronic devices in a polling place except for the media. And even media members aren’t allowed to photograph a ballot that shows how someone is voting. But photos of mailed ballots are OK.
MISSOURI: Law prohibits voters from allowing others to see their ballots if the intent is to show how they voted. Secretary of state spokeswoman Stephanie Fleming described ballot selfies as a “gray area” and advises voters to check with local election authorities.
OHIO: Has a longstanding prohibition against voters letting their ballot be seen with the “apparent intention” of letting it be known how they are about to vote. The state elections chief has advised local election boards to consult their own attorneys about how to apply the law.
OKLAHOMA: Officials recommend against it, noting that state law dating back about 40 years suggests it is illegal but outlines no penalties.
PENNSYLVANIA: Law prohibits someone from revealing their ballot “letting it be known how” they’re “about to vote.” But officials recently released guidance on electronic items in polling places that noted the recent court cases that “found a First Amendment right to take ‘ballot selfies.'”
TENNESSEE: Voters are not allowed to take photos or videos while in polling places. Voters are not allowed to take photos or videos while in polling places. They’re only allowed to use electronic devices for informational purposes to assist during voting, according to Adam Ghassemi, a spokesman for Secretary of State Tre Hargett. The state’s law doesn’t address mail-in ballots.
TEXAS: Bars photography within 100 feet of polling stations, so selfies are not allowed. Photos of mail-in ballots are OK.
WEST VIRGINIA: Electronic devices are banned inside voting booths, according to Secretary of State Natalie Tennant. Nothing in the law prohibits photos of mail-in ballots.