Does Your State Allow Selfies at the Voting Booth?
Last week, a federal appeals court ruled that New Hampshire voters have a First Amendment right to take selfies at the polls. Yes, seriously.
The unanimous court ruling from the First Circuit Court of Appeals in Boston said that the state's ban on voting booth selfies "is like burning down the house to roast the pig." The justices argued that the ban would suppress too much political speech. Ballot selfies express support for a candidate and communicate that the voter has given support, they argued. That makes this social media fad a sacred personal freedom. Worse, the ruling ended with the trite phrase "a picture is worth a thousand words."
Only nine states explicitly allow ballot selfies or have no currently enforceable state law clearly forbidding the practice. Voters in Arizona, Delaware, Indiana, Maine, New Hampshire, North Dakota, Oregon, Utah, and Wyoming are free to snap a ballot self-portrait.
Over half of the states in the union explicitly ban ballot selfies through various laws, including prohibitions on bringing cameras into the ballot booth. The law is unclear in 14 states: Arkansas, Connecticut, Hawaii, Idaho, Illinois, Kansas, Kentucky, Maryland, Minnesota, New Jersey, Ohio, Rhode Island, Vermont, and Washington. If you live in one of the 26 states not mentioned, selfies at the ballot box are off limits. Sorry.
Here's a helpful map.
Ballot selfies are weird, but why outlaw them? Check out the reasoning on the next page.