Pando

States scramble to update "ballot selfie" laws ahead of election day

By Paul Bradley Carr , written on November 1, 2016

From The Politics Desk

Given all the reasons to be despondent this election, it's hard not to be cheered up by the words "ballot selfie."

Specifically, it's diffictult not to enjoy the spectacle of state legislators scrambling to catch up with the reality that, next week, millions of young voters will likely want to snap photos from the polling booth.

Judges in New Hampshire and Michigan have already struck down or blocked laws that criminalized photographing one's ballot, and now New York is facing a suit to overturn its own "ballot selfie" laws. 

The issue gained even greater prominence when Tennessee voter and favorte son Justin Timberlake posted a ballot selfie in Shelby County and encouraged fans to do the same. Several newspaper outlets declared that Timberlake "faces jail" for his post after County officials said they were investigating. Shortly aftwerwards, the County decided to drop the investigation and the world resumed turning on its axis. 

In case you were wondering (of course you were wondering), in California -- home to Twitter, Instagram et al -- it remains technically illegal to post a ballot selfie. As the Washington Post explains, the state recently passed a law legalizing photography of ballots, but the change in law won't come into effect until after election day. But, again according to the Post, the state says it has no plans to enforce the lame duck law between now and then. So disrupt away! (Or move to Utah where ballot selfies are legal, but where it remains illegal to fish while on horseback.)