Missouri could soon join at least 20 other states where it is legal to take a selfie in the voting booth. Two state lawmakers have introduced legislation that would alter Missouri voting rules, paving the way for people to publicly post pictures of themselves and their ballots without fear of prosecution. “Everybody takes selfies of everything,” said Rep. Charlie Davis, R-Webb City. “Why should someone not be able to exercise their First Amendment rights?” Davis has introduced House Bill 315, which eliminates 27 words in the election code that could be used to prosecute people taking selfies after they vote. Rep. Travis Fitzwater, R-Holts Summit, has introduced an identical version of the measure in House Bill 249. The proposals come after an election cycle in which questions were raised about the legality of taking ballot selfies across the nation.
A review by The Associated Press showed ballot selfies are legal in 20 states and the District of Columbia, illegal in 17 states and the legal status is mixed or unclear in the rest.
Missouri and Illinois are among states where selfies have been interpreted as falling into a gray area. In response, local officials urged people to keep their mobile phones in their pockets, arguing that state law bars voters from allowing anyone to see their ballot with the intent of letting it be known how they voted.