According to the Digital Media Law Project, filming or photographing your marked ballot is illegal in 35 states. The law in Ohio, for example, prohibits voters from displaying their ballots “with the apparent intention of letting it be known how the elector is about to vote” or “exhibiting any ticket or ballot the elector tends to cast.”
Granted, these laws were implemented before social media—and the related desire to share every quotidian moment in your day—became a thing. Designed to prevent people from selling their votes, the laws are rarely enforced.
However, New Hampshire did institute an updated law on September 1 that specifically prohibits sharing ballot photos on social media, and according to Reuters, the Office of the New Hampshire Secretary of State is already investigating suspected violations from the September 9 primary.
(On a related note, that free latte that you got for showing your “I Voted” sticker is also technically illegal.)
So go ahead and take a picture of yourself getting ready to vote and pick up a free cup of Joe on the house. Just try to keep the actual ballot off of Instagram.
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