These days, if you don’t get a picture of the action, maybe it didn’t happen. Popular social media app Snapchat is fighting to make it legal for voters to show and prove their actions in the voting booth. Apparently, parking lot pictures of those “I voted” stickers just aren’t enough to get the point across.
In some states, taking a picture in a voting booth could land you in jail. Pennsylvania residents who do it could face jail time for up to a year. Showing someone your completed ballot in Wisconsin is also a crime. Sending a voting selfie in New Hampshire could set you back $1,000.
Snapchat filed an amicus brief Friday to get New Hampshire to reconsider its ban on ballot selfies. The company argues that “ballot selfies are the latest way that voters, especially young voters, engage with the political process.” The brief also notes that “newsgatherers,” like Snapchat, have a First Amendment interest in sharing those selfies.
Snapchat says the selfies do not pose a danger to other voters, nor do they threaten the functions of a polling place.
Last year, a federal court said outlawing the ballot selfies violates free speech rights. The court’s ruling opened the door for New Hampshire voters to post those selfies. That ruling is now being appealed in the 1st Circuit Court.
Your ability to snap a photo while in the voting booth depends on where you’re voting. While there’s no federal law, each state is different. The Huffington Post and the Digital Media Law Project have compiled a list that you should check before snapping away.
The ballot selfie controversy sparked mixed reviews on Twitter, with some users posting theirs while others wondered if it’s really necessary.