Are ballot selfies illegal?
Want to snap a pic of your ballot? In 31 states, you could face fines or even jail time.
Laws nationwide are mixed on whether voters can legally take “ballot selfies.” Those are pictures of themselves in the act of voting or of their ballots.
Federal judges have struck down bans on selfies in at least two states, and rules have changed in others. But in 18 states, taking a picture of your ballot still carries potential fines or jail terms. In 13 other states, the laws are mixed or unclear.
The idea is that people who have not voted yet will be influenced by seeing ballot photos on social media.
Luckily for us, Oregon and Washington are progressive when it comes to ballot selfies. Residents in the Pacific Northwest can snap away. But a spokesman for Washington state Secretary of State Kim Wyman said the office does not recommend it.
An Oregon law prohibiting showing a marked ballot to another person was repealed in 2014, according to Molly Woon, a spokeswoman for Secretary of State Jeanne Atkins.
State where ballot selfies are allowed:
- District of Columbia
- New Hampshire
- North Dakota
- Rhode Island
States where ballot selfies are illegal:
- New Jersey
- New Mexico
- New York
- North Carolina
- South Carolina
- South Dakota
States where the legal status is unclear:
- West Virginia