Nikola Jordan for years has snapped a “ballot selfie” at the polling place and posted it on social media. Even before advanced smartphones and Facebook’s popularity, she’d take a handheld camera into the polling place and pose with her ballot. “I think voting is really exciting and being part of the democratic process is really exciting,” the 32-year-old Omaha woman said. Current state law, however, prohibits sharing a picture of a completed ballot with other people, which could include posting such a photo on Facebook or Instagram. A measure introduced Thursday in the State Legislature would protect ballot selfies by allowing a voter to photograph and share his or her ballot.
Lincoln State Sen. Adam Morfeld, who introduced the bill, said he wants to see more young people engaged in democracy and elections, and allowing them to share their voting experience would help.
Under Legislative Bill 787, voters could spread their excitement about voting and encourage others to get involved, said Morfeld, who is the founder and executive director of Nebraskans for Civic Reform. “That’s something I think everyone in state government should be encouraging,” he said.
Current state law bans a voter from showing his or her marked ballot to other people. Doing so is a misdemeanor, and a violator could face a $100 fine.