PSA: A Selfie With Your Election Ballot Is Probably a Terrible Idea
Election day is coming. November 8. Mark your calendars, people. Given the nature of this election, you probably already know who you’re voting for and you feel very strongly about your candidate of choice. And in today’s culture of “pic or it didn’t happen,” you can pretty much count on voting day selfies blowing up your feed all day on the 8th. But considering the privacy precautions of polling places, is a selfie actually allowed? PSA: In a handful of states it’s illegal.
Justin Timberlake just found this out the hard way. JT headed back to his home state of Tennessee to cast his vote and posted a photo of himself at the electronic polling machine. While the caption was all about encouraging people to vote and had a good intention, it quickly backfired on him. Because technically in TN, it’s illegal for voters to take photos or record conversations in a polling place. The penalty for breaking the law? It could result in a 30-day jail sentence and a $50 fine. TMZ reports that Justin is currently under review with the DA.
So can you document the historic event on your Snapchat story or not? The Associated Press reports, “There are laws against sharing any photo of your ballot in 18 states, while six other states bar photography in polling places but do allow photos of mail-in ballots.”
To clear up some confusion, here are the states where photography in polling places is strictly prohibited: Alabama, Alaska, Colorado, Florida, Georgia, Illinois, Kansas, Mississippi, Nevada, New Jersey, New Mexico, New York, North Carolina, South Carolina, South Dakota and Wisconsin.
In these states you’re free to Instagram away: Connecticut, District of Columbia, Hawaii, Idaho, Indiana, Kentucky, Louisiana, Maine, Massachusetts, Michigan, Minnesota, Montana, Nebraska, New Hampshire, North Dakota, Oregon, Rhode Island, Utah, Vermont, Virginia, Washington and Wyoming.
And in these states, the rules are still a bit complicated: Arizona, Arkansas, California, Delaware, Iowa, Maryland, Missouri, Ohio, Oklahoma, Pennsylvania, Tennessee, Texas and West Virginia.
If you’d like to see the specifics about each state, check out Vox’s in-depth feature on the issue. But hey, if you’d rather just play it safe, do like the rest of us and wait to take a selfie until you’re outside the polling place wearing the “I voted” sticker.
Where will you be voting on the 8th? Share with us on Twitter @BritandCo.