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10-21-2016, 09:12 AM   #1
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"Ballot selfies" might be illegal in some states

Colorado law says "No voter shall show his ballot after it is prepared for voting to any person in such a way as to reveal its contents." Colorado also has a mail-in ballot for almost everyone this year, so it's easy to break this law by taking a photo in your own house, then posting it on social media. The issue has already come up in other states - seven states have laws specifically allowing it, and courts in Indiana have upheld the right to take a shot on First Amendment grounds. When I searched on Google, lots of results mentioned California and New York primary elections.

I am not too surprised that an old law conflicts with new trends, just that I've never even heard of this version of a photography ban. I broke the law in 2012 and did not know I was a cutting edge rebel until yesterday.

10-21-2016, 09:33 AM   #2
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I'm curious what kind of penalties you could be facing? Should we expect a rash of "ballot selfie" fugitives knocking on Canadian borders?
10-21-2016, 10:40 AM - 1 Like   #3
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I can't find the Colorado penalty. Apparently the New Hampshire ruling was on a new law specifically meant to prevent photos, with a penalty of $1000. A detailed article here with more links:

New Hampshire law barring ballot selfies is unconstitutional, court rules | Ars Technica

I thought New Hampshire was Live Free or Die, not Annoying Laws For Stuff We Just Thought Of. And NH is right on your border, so fortunately the law was struck down, otherwise the refugee situation could be awful. ("What do you mean, the camp doesn't have wifi?")
10-21-2016, 12:07 PM - 1 Like   #4
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PLEASE NOTE - I've had to issue reminders to several members re the forum rules on political discussion. The OP's post is fine, as is Brian's reply, as neither constitutes political commentary or opinion - they are specifically discussing a photography-related political issue. Opinions or comments on candidates and politics generally are not allowed.

Thanks for your help.


10-21-2016, 12:41 PM   #5
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Wow, that was a pretty hefty penalty they proposed.

I've only had little cardboard screens on tables to vote behind. If curtain booths like in that article are standard fare in the US, the "nude public ballot selfie" is just waiting to happen.
10-21-2016, 12:59 PM   #6
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In the US the ballot is supposed to be private and that means no photos.
10-21-2016, 02:26 PM   #7
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QuoteOriginally posted by gaweidert Quote
In the US the ballot is supposed to be private and that means no photos.
I'm 100% sure that a law allowing me to take photos of other people's ballots would not get passed.

I know I meant my photo to be a visual version of an "I voted for XXX" post. If I just typed those words it would have been legal and common. Certainly it is OK to keep that information private. Some people will tell you who they voted for without anyone asking, some will absolutely not. But there is no law preventing me from conveying that information, except in a photograph. That seems strange.

The New Hampshire law seemed to suggest that a photo would influence others to fill out a ballot in exactly the same way. That's strange too. Lots of entities are spending millions to influence voters, but not this one method?

I'm not sure what the reasoning is behind the Colorado law, except to reinforce the private ballot idea.
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