The law is the law, no selfies allowed at the polls in California. That’s what a US district judge ruled Wednesday, rejecting the American Civil Liberties Union’s request for an injunction lifting the state’s ban on voters taking selfies of their ballot. The ACLU said the more than century-old law banning cameras at the polls violate voters’ freedom of speech. Nope, California voters still won’t be able to take these kinds of selfies at ballots such as this guy in Wisconsin two years ago. But Judge William Alsup took less than two hours to reach his decision, chastising the ACLU for filing a lawsuit Monday in federal court in San Francisco claiming voters’ First Amendment rights are being denied from expressing their political positions — with Election Day less than a week away.
Alsup claimed the ACLU was trying to run a “2-minute drill.” The judge said he couldn’t imagine changing a longstanding law. A law, he said, that could lead to retraining hundreds of workers at more than 14,000 poling places across California’s 58 counties. He also couldn’t imagine how it would affect thousands of voters facing critical decisions by not being able to use a “selfie stick” with their phone to show others who they voted for.
“It’s not so simple. Will a voter be allowed to go into a voting booth and use one of those sticks so that the voter makes sure their face is in it? And, then they’re going to check it to make sure it picks up everything,” said Alsup to chuckles in the courtroom. “Then let’s say they don’t get everything, can they try again? How many times can they keep trying? What if they don’t like the smile on their face? They have to get the face, the smile, the ballot all just right.