While secrecy in the voting booth has become a thing of the past for those ready to share their views and daily lives on social media, laws nationwide are mixed on whether voters are allowed to take pictures of themselves voting and their ballots.
When Justin Timberlake flew from California to Tennessee to vote early, he posted a picture of himself at the voting booth on Instagram. This 'ballot selfie' began raising questions about whether he was breaking the law.
A Tennessee law that took effect earlier this year bars voters from taking photos while they’re inside a polling location. Other states like New Hampshire and Indiana have struck down proposals for bans. On Monday, a judge in Michigan blocked enforcement of a ban on ballot selfies, saying it violates free speech.
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So, what do the laws say in our region?
If you’re voting in New Jersey, ballot selfies are out of the picture. Law prohibits voters from showing their ballot to others, at least in this upcoming election. 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.
As for Delaware and Pennsylvania, the line is blurred. Delaware has a policy against cellphones in voting booths, but elections Commissioner Elaine Manlove says, "I don’t know that we can control what happens behind the curtain."
In Pennsylvania, the law prohibits someone from revealing their ballot "letting it be known how" they’re "about to vote." However, 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.'
Bottom line? Snap at your own risk.