Sunday, October 30, 2016

Be careful with those ballot selfies, you could end up in jail

The issue of “ballot selfies” has actually become somewhat contentious. At the end of September, a federal appeals court ruled that a statewide ban on ballot selfies in New Hampshire was unconstitutional. Proponents of the ban said it was put in place so that images of ballots wouldn’t be used to buy votes or cause voter intimidation, according to CNN.
Before you post that vote photo or a smiling selfie of you and your ballot, in some states it might be a crime. One that carries at least the possibility of time behind bars.
However, while sharing your ballot – whether on social media or otherwise –  is technically illegal, authorities say they won't will be scouring Twitter for #ballotselfie posts in order to snag scofflaws.
That is, unless there's evidence that the messages have been coerced or part of a pay-for-vote scheme.
The intent of Ohio's ballot sharing ban, last revised almost 20 years ago, was to prevent voter intimidation, and Tammany Hall-era election fixing, Dan Tierney, a spokesman for Ohio Attorney General Mike DeWine said.
In Pennsylvania the Election Code doesn’t address electronic devices in polling places, so the state recommends counties enact “common sense” rules to address it so that voting is unimpeded.
Counties can allow other people such as poll watchers who are lawfully in the polling place to use portable electronic devices, but should consider limiting the location of use to outside the area where voting occurs.
The state recommends voters who want to do so do two things:
Make sure you’re only getting your ballot in the photo and not anyone else’s. This is more of a problem in counties without voting booth curtains.
The Department recommends voters wait until after they leave the polling place to post a ballot selfie on social media.

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