In this modern age of decadence and vanity, the young folk of our current day and age, I keep forgetting if I’m included in that or not, have created another growing trend: voting booth selfies.
Yes, I’m talking about taking a photo of who you voted for, and on the actual ballot at that. Now, considering those voting booths are mostly private… well, the issue of legality is certainly, well… an issue. And we here at Viral Pirate feel that it is our civic duty to tell you if you can or cannot do this cool, new thing.
Well, it all depends on the state you live in. There is no federal law, so each state gets to make their own decision with regards to the trend. A graph detailing what you are in for on where you live can be seen below, courtesy of the Digital Media Law Project.
Why ban this in the first place?
The issue is privacy protection and there’s a concern that people will take photos of other voters in order to coerce their vote.
“Whether an exchange of money, or for having to live with someone or some other fear, you don’t want anyone to go into that booth and end up voting for someone they didn’t really want to vote for, but felt they didn’t want to pay that price for whatever reason,” said Bill Gardener, New Hampshire’s secretary of state. What does New Hampshire have to do with any of this? Well, the state overturned a previous ban on the issue, so make sure that you keep up to date.
On the other hand, there is concern over freedom of speech. Gotta love that freedom of speech. Selfies can also prove to be somewhat pragmatic. “More importantly, it’s about keeping the system honest, and documenting the election process and quickly identifying flaws that might be on the ballot and being able to share them quickly and easily with other voters,” said Justin Silverman, the executive director of the New England First Amendment Coalition, in a released statement.
And of course, having yet another excuse to take selfies will inspire young people to vote. Added to that, this isn’t a mere American issue. South Africans and Indians recently made headlines for taking selfies in the voting booth a while back, as you can see.
So, take a quick run through that list and check whether or not it’s actually illegal to take a voting selfie in your state… not like that’d stop you, anyway.