Ballot selfies are currently not allowed in Michigan following a 2-1 decision by a federal appeals court. The decision reverses an earlier one this week from a lower court that said ballot selfies would be allowed, when a judge granted a preliminary injunction of Michigan’s law that banned photographs of voter ballots. “Timing is everything,” the Friday, Oct. 28, order authored by Jeffrey S. Sutton and joined by Ralph B. Guy Jr. states. “Crookston’s motion and complaint raise interesting First Amendment issues, and he will have an opportunity to litigate them in full—after this election.” “With just ten days before the November 2016 election, however, we will not accept his invitation to suddenly alter Michigan’s venerable voting protocols, especially when he could have filed this lawsuit long ago,” the order states.
R. Guy Cole Jr., Chief Circuit Judge, issued a dissenting opinion. “As millions of Americans across the country prepare to vote, their counterparts in the state of Michigan will be put in the position of choosing between their freedom of expression and their right to vote,” Cole wrote.
“The penalty in Michigan for taking a ballot selfie is the loss of one’s right to vote. In permitting the loss of such a fundamental right, the majority puts the administrative interests of the state above the individual rights of the citizens of Michigan,” Cole wrote.