• U.S.

It’s Perfectly Legal to Take a Ballot Selfie While Voting in Indiana, Judge Rules

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A judge ruled Monday that an Indiana law making it a felony offense to shoot a “ballot selfie” at polling stations and/or post a ballot selfie on the Internet was unconstitutional.

U.S. District Judge Sarah Evans Barker wrote in her opinion that the law violated the First Amendment of the United States and was nearly impossible to “survive strict scrutiny because it neither serves compelling state interests nor is narrowly tailored to achieve those interests,” she wrote.

The state argued the law was a way to deter vote-selling, since a photo of the ballot might show which candidate(s) a voter had chosen. Indiana argued that groups could pressure people to vote a certain way with this kind of information and access.

Barker, however, disagreed, saying that the law was too sweeping, pointing to laws already in place against buying votes.

The law was enacted on July 1 of this year, with a person caught taking a selfie subject to a “level six” felony penalty. In August, the American Civil Liberties Union sued.

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Write to Tanya Basu at tanya.basu@time.com