Step 1: Participate in the political process, choose your future leaders, live out your democratic right as an American that countless men and women have literally died for. Step 2: Selfie. To many, there’s no better celebration of democracy than a voting booth photograph. It’s the moment political talk turns to political action, one younger voters are especially eager to record and share with friends. But in several states, the right of free speech has clashed with the question of whether allowing photographs in the voting booth, a typically private space, could compromise elections. Some states, like Pennsylvania, have banned the practice. Last year, a federal court in New Hampshire overturned a ban on such photos, a decision still being appealed.
Snapchat, the social network of choice for many younger voters, joined the fray on Friday, filing an amicus brief in New Hampshire arguing against the ban. It called ballot selfies “the latest way that voters, especially young voters, engage with the political process.”
Both supporters and detractors of the restrictions agree that there are significant freedoms at stake. They just disagree on which freedoms to focus on.
There’s no federal law, and each state is different. The Huffington Post and the Digital Media Law Project have assembled state-by-state lists that you could check. There’s quite a bit of variety in approaches. Some states, like South Carolina, have few restrictions, while others, like Pennsylvania and Vermont, allow for fines of up to $1,000.