So you voted early, are proud of your choices, and want to share them with the world by putting a photo of your ballot on Facebook. Guess what? You’ve just committed a crime. Now state lawmakers are trying to get you off the hook. HB 2536 came from Rep. Paul Boyer, R-Phoenix. “I have a constituent who was threatened by the police with a misdemeanor because he had posted the way he voted, and posted it on Facebook,’ Boyer told the House Elections Committee. The problem, he said, is a provision of law which make it a crime to show a ballot after it has been voted “in such a manner as to reveal the contents.’ The only exception is someone who is authorized to assist the voter.
This isn’t so much an issue at polling places where existing law already prohibits photography. That means no legal opportunity to take a picture of a completed ballot before it is put into the box or counting machine.
Early ballots are something else, sent to a voter to fill out and mail back. And that provides the time and opportunity to take a picture of it and, if desired, post it for the entire world to see.
Boyer said it was never the intent of the law to prevent that. But he acknowledged that’s the way the law reads. And violators are subject to a fine of up to $750 and four months in jail.