Ballot Selfies The New Norm?

Ballot Selfie

CAPE ELIZABETH, Maine (NEWS CENTER) -- We live in an age where we express ourselves by taking pictures with our phones and posting them on social media... but here's what you need to know before posting a selfie with your ballot on or before November 8, 2016, in Maine.

Justin Timberlake was recently in hot water for taking a selfie with his ballot at a poll in Tennessee and posting it to social media. It's illegal to take pictures inside the polling areas in that state.

Other states have hard laws against photos of ballots or photos and videos being taken in the polling place. In Colorado, a state senator is challenging a related law dating back to the 1800's with a federal lawsuit saying it violates American rights.
 
This act of voting is one of the most sacred rights that we can enjoy here, and if we choose to do that publicly, that's joined with another one of our rights, and that is free speech.

New Hampshire recently challenged a ban on ballot pictures, and the court upheld the decision that the ban was unconstitutional. Now, in only in one state in New England is it illegal to take a picture of your completed ballot and that's Massachusetts.
 
In Maine though, the rules are little confusing. The reproduction of blank ballots is a misdemeanor.  But there is no law that prevents voters from posting photos of their completed ballot forms.
 
However, in polling places like Cape Elizabeth, clerks prohibit cell phone use. The secretary of state says Maine's lawmakers discourage posting photos of marked ballots for the ramifications surrounding privacy, but  that's on the voter.
At the Cape Elizabeth town office, if you really want to take a selfie with a ballot, they have some sample ones on the door on your way out. 
 

Copyright 2016 WCSH


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