A federal judge on Thursday rejected a constitutional challenge to a New York state law barring voters from taking photographs of their marked ballots, known as “ballot selfies,” so they could post them on social media websites. U.S. District Judge Kevin Castel in Manhattan also upheld the constitutionality of a New York City Board of Elections policy barring photography at city polling places. Rejecting free speech challenges under the First Amendment, Castel said the state law was “narrowly tailored” to help thwart fraud and ensure the integrity of the election process, while the city policy was a reasonable means to limit delays at the ballot box. The judge issued his 41-page decision one month after a two-day, non-jury trial.
“We fully expect to appeal,” Leo Glickman, a lawyer for voters who challenged the restrictions, said in an email. “While the courts continue to expand First Amendment rights for wealthy and corporate interests, it is critical that we ensure that ordinary citizens maintain their First Amendment rights as well.”
Amy Spitalnick, press secretary for New York Attorney General Eric Schneiderman, whose office defended the state law, declined to comment.
Nick Paolucci, a spokesman for New York City’s law department, said the city was pleased with the decision.
Full Article: New York ‘ballot selfie’ law survives court challenge.