Beyonce’s done it, Sean Hannity’s done it, and we all know Kim Kardashian has done it too. Now a Bay Area lawmaker wants all California voters to be able to do it too, without the threat of arrest. That is, take selfies in the voting booth. A new bill sponsored by Assemblyman Marc Levine (D-San Rafael) would legalize so-called “ballot selfies” and allow citizens to share photos of themselves voting on social media. “People are taking pictures of their dogs, they’re taking pictures of their dinner, so let’s take pictures of voting,” Levine said in an interview. “It’s time to make voting cool and ubiquitous, and ballot selfies are a powerful way to do that.”
The Marin County lawmaker says he took his first “ballot selfie” in 2009, right after casting a vote for himself in the San Rafael City Council race. He saw many of his own friends posting similar photos on Facebook from their polling places.
“I realized that this is something more people should be doing,” Levine said, adding that if more people posted photos of their ballots on social media, it could help turn around the state’s dismal voter turnout.
But California law prohibits any voter from showing his or her ballot to another person after marking it. And anyone who takes photos or videos within 100 feet of a polling place with the intent of dissuading a voter could land in jail. No Californian has ever faced prosecution for taking a “ballot selfie,” Levine said.