'Ballot selfies' are your right

'Ballot selfies' are your right

Recently, Justin Timberlake got in trouble in Tennessee for taking a selfie in the voting booth. Or maybe it is that this election is by far the most freakish and contentious is USA history.

Think twice before taking a selfie from the voting booth on Tuesday. Arrests - if police made any - haven't been widely reported, and local law enforcement usually deal with more pressing issues when snapped photos are discovered online.

Every citizen "has a right to keep their ballot private, but people who want to share it should have that right too", says Michael Risher, a senior staff attorney for the ACLU of Northern California, who says the ballot selfie is a first amendment issue. It's against the law to take ballot selfies - or, for that matter, any picture of your ballot, whether it's absentee or at the polling place - in 18 states, according to a recent roundup by the Associated Press. "To show my social media followers that I voted on Election Day, and I intend to show them who I voted for".

Voters can cast their ballots in NY starting at 6 a.m Tuesday. "I voted, shame on you didn't get out there today, ' right?"

While it's pretty hard for most states to prosecute illegal ballot selfies, it's better to not run the risk of getting your vote voided.

A search of the #IVoted hashtags on Twitter and Instagram is most likely turn up photos of people wearing the "I Voted" stickers, but, continuing a trend from the last few election cycles, more than a few of those images will be of completed ballots before they're deposited with polling places or sent back in the mail. "And, then they're going to check it to make sure it picks up everything". Castel wrote, "Not only would a preliminary injunction wreak havoc on election-day logistics, real concerns exist about the delays and privacy intrusions that ballot selfies could cause".

As millions of voters go to the polls on November 8 to decide America's next president, many are unwittingly breaking the law with their ballot selfies.A long-standing prohibition on showing a person's ballot with "apparent intention" of who they are voting for prohibits photos with a marked ballot, thus making the much beloved ballot selfie a fifth-degree felony.

The company said selfies were "how voters-particularly young voters-engage with the political process". "The federal court in New Hampshire agreed", Duffey said in a statement.

The ban on photographing and sharing one's marked ballot has already been repealed by the state legislature, but the repeal won't go into effect until January.



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