If you enter the voting booth this November and, as a proud voter, you snap a selfie with your ballot and share it on Facebook, you could be committing a felony. Indiana’s “ballot selfie law,” which was created by state lawmakers to prevent voter fraud, made it illegal to take such photos. Whether that law will remain in place in the upcoming municipal elections is now up to a federal judge to decide. The issue of ballot selfies reached the federal court in August when the American Civil Liberties Union of Indiana filed a lawsuit that says the new law, which took effect in July, is unconstitutional because it violates free speech rights. The ACLU of Indiana is asking U.S. District Judge Sarah Evans Barker to issue an order that would prevent state officials from enforcing the law next month — and until the lawsuit reaches a resolution.
In a hearing Tuesday, Barker seemed critical of the law, pressing the state’s attorney to explain what justifies punishing voters for taking harmless photographs.
The law’s intent is to maintain the integrity of the ballot by removing a tool that could be used to commit voter fraud, said Dennis Mullen, deputy attorney general for the Indiana attorney general’s office, which is tasked with defending state laws in court. He offered an example wherein a voter is being coerced by either an organization or his or her peers to vote a certain way and to provide proof — such as a picture — of how he or she voted.
Full Article: ‘Ballot selfie law’ faces scrutiny from federal judge.