Is It Legal To Take A Selfie When You Vote?
Nov 5, 2018, 11:40 AM | Updated: Nov 6, 2018, 12:53 pm
SALT LAKE CITY, Utah – As Americans hit the polls, some may want to show off their ballot with a quick selfie in the voting booth.
Before voters pull out their cameras, though, they should know there are some selfie rules in place. Some of those rules are quite serious.
Each state has its own set of rules. Residents of Alabama, Arizona, Florida, Georgia, Illinois, Iowa, Maryland, Michigan, Nevada, New Jersey, New York, North Carolina, Ohio, South Carolina, South Dakota, Tennessee, Texas and West Virginia are all forbidden from taking photos of anything inside the voting booth or at a polling place.
Some states, like George, even forbid voters from using their phones for any purpose. Maryland’s voter information site also notes that no pagers are allowed.
In Illinois, if you share a photo of your ballot, you could be convicted of a Class 4 felony.
Other states don’t have rules against taking photos, but they do take issue with posting them. For many states, posting photos of a marked ballot is a no-no.
There has been some confusion as to whether Utah is one of those states.
In 2015, Utah passed a bill that allows voters to snap a photo in the voting booth.
H.B. 72 “allows an individual to take, share, or publish a photograph of the individual’s ballot,” but it also states that “an individual is guilty of a class C misdemeanor if the individual allows the individual’s ballot to be seen by another with the intent to reveal how the individual is about to vote.”
That sounds like language telling voters it’s not allowed to take a photo of a marked ballot. Many websites published articles stating Utahns can take photos of their ballots as long as they haven’t been marked yet.
However, according to a tweet from Utah state representative Dan McCay, taking photos is open game as long as you’re not taking pictures of someone else’s ballot.
Mary: HB 72, 2015 session made it legal to post your entire ballot online. https://t.co/xxnfEnjZ9a
— Dan McCay (@danmccay) November 6, 2018
So snap away, voters!