ballot selfie

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New Hampshire: How the ballot selfie went from a New Hampshire voting booth all the way to federal court | Boston Globe

A federal appeals court in Boston will hear arguments Tuesday on a case that junctures the contentious issues of free speech, the integrity of the voting process, and selfies. Yes, selfies—specifically, so-called ballot selfies. The state of New Hampshire is appealing a ruling last year that struck down the state’s law explicitly banning voters from taking and posting photos with or of their ballots. The law, which carries a fine up to $1,000 for violators, went into effect shortly before New Hampshire’s 2014 state primary. The act intended to protect against vote buying in the digital age; what it got was widespread protest and a two-year legal saga. Leon Rideout knew what he was doing. “It was sort of a protest photo,” the Republican state representative from Lancaster said in an interview.

Full Article: How the ballot selfie went from a New Hampshire voting booth all the way to federal court.

New Hampshire: Appeals court skeptical of New Hampshire’s ballot-selfie ban | Reuters

Three federal appeals court judges showed skepticism on Tuesday on how a 2014 New Hampshire law banning voters from taking selfies with their ballots on election day does not violate the U.S. right to free speech. The judges repeatedly asked a New Hampshire official to explain how the law could prevent a replay of scandals that rocked many U.S. states in the late 19th century, when politicians paid for votes, in cash or alcohol. “It’s well known that in the late 1800s, buying votes was a huge problem,” Stephen LaBonte, the state’s associate attorney general, told a three-judge panel of the First Circuit of the U.S. Court of Appeals in Boston. “What year is it now?” Judge Sandra Lynch shot back. “In the late 1800s there was a huge problem that obviously didn’t involve ballot-selfies, which did not exist at the time.”

Full Article: Appeals court skeptical of New Hampshire's ballot-selfie ban | Reuters.

New Hampshire: Appeals Court to Review New Hampshire’s Ballot-Selfie Ban | Wall Street Journal

Selfie culture, long debated in the court of public opinion, will make its debut in a federal court of appeals on Tuesday, when a panel of judges is set to appraise a New Hampshire law banning voters from sharing photos of their marked ballots on social media. The case before the First U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in Boston pits longstanding policies favoring ballot secrecy—generally adopted in the U.S. in the 19th century to stanch then-rampant vote buying—against a form of smartphone-enabled expression popular with young voters. Since at least 1979 it has been illegal in New Hampshire for a voter to show his ballot to someone else with the intention of disclosing how he plans to vote. In 2014, state legislators amended the law to include a ban on “taking a digital image or photograph of his or her marked ballot and distributing or sharing the image via social media.” The aim of the law: to guard against hypothetical vote-buying schemes in which ballot selfies serve as proof of performance.

Full Article: Appeals Court to Review New Hampshire’s Ballot-Selfie Ban - WSJ.

National: Selfies in voting booths: Depending on where you live, they may be illegal | Ars Technica

“Dude, check out who I voted for!” We soon could be seeing a lot more selfies with that caption. That’s because legislation legalizing ballot selfies in voting booths landed on California Gov. Jerry Brown’s desk on Friday. Assembly Bill 1494 amends California law that, for now, says “a voter shall not show” a ballot “to any person in such a way as to reveal its contents.” The new law awaiting the governor’s signature says “a voter may voluntarily disclose how he or she voted if that voluntary act does not violate any other law.” The measure passed the state Senate earlier this year and the state Assembly last week on a 63-15 vote. “I see this as a First Amendment issue,” Assemblyman James Gallagher, a Republican representing Yuba City and one of the bill’s sponsors, told colleagues during a floor vote. “All this does is to say that those who want to share how they voted have the right to do so.” Across the US, the law in the 50 states on voting booth selfies is mixed. No federal law addresses the issue, and there’s a smattering of court challenges across the country. Consult these guides from the Huffington Post and the Digital Media Law Project on whether it’s OK to snap a picture of yourself showing your votes on the November 8 presidential ballot.

Full Article: Selfies in voting booths: Depending on where you live, they may be illegal | Ars Technica.

California: Ballot selfies are illegal, but this Bay Area legislator says they shouldn’t be | Los Angeles Times

Beyonce’s done it, Sean Hannity’s done it, and we all know Kim Kardashian has done it too. Now a Bay Area lawmaker wants all California voters to be able to do it too, without the threat of arrest. That is, take selfies in the voting booth. A new bill sponsored by Assemblyman Marc Levine (D-San Rafael) would legalize so-called “ballot selfies” and allow citizens to share photos of themselves voting on social media. “People are taking pictures of their dogs, they’re taking pictures of their dinner, so let’s take pictures of voting,” Levine said in an interview. “It’s time to make voting cool and ubiquitous, and ballot selfies are a powerful way to do that.”

Wisconsin: ‘Ballot selfie’ by Paul Ryan primary challenger a (technical) violation of state law | Wisconsin State Journal

With voting underway in Wisconsin’s partisan primary election Tuesday, the Republican primary challenger to U.S. House Speaker Paul Ryan, Paul Nehlen, may have broken state law by tweeting a photo of what appeared to be a marked ballot. State law bars any voter from showing “his or her marked ballot to any person or places a mark upon the ballot so it is identifiable as his or her ballot.” The campaign of Nehlen, a Delavan businessman who is challenging Ryan, may have done just that Tuesday. At 3:18 p.m. Tuesday, Nehlen’s campaign Twitter account posted a photo of what appeared to be a completed ballot with the message: “#HireNehlen Save America #WI01.” Because of the law, a spokesman for the state elections commission, Reid Magney, said it discourages voters from posting these so-called “ballot selfies.”

Full Article: 'Ballot selfie' by Paul Ryan primary challenger a (technical) violation of state law | Politics and Elections |

National: Should Selfies Be Allowed in US Voting Booths? | VoA News

The state of New Hampshire is appealing a decision that allows voters to take pictures inside voting booths. It would like to join other U.S. states that have banned any voting booth documentation in the form of digital images or photography being shared on social media or otherwise. In other words: No selfies with your ballot. “It’s natural that people — particularly young people who are participating in the democratic process —want to make a record of their specific act of casting a ballot,” John Hardin Young, Chair of the American Bar Association’s Standing Committee on Election Law, told VOA. “That can include taking a photograph with their phone of the actual ballot face as it’s marked. In a way, we are really at loggerheads. On the one hand, we want everyone to participate. On the other, we do want to make sure that the ballot box remains secret.”

Full Article: Should Selfies Be Allowed in US Voting Booths?.

National: Selfies in the Voting Booth? Snapchat Fights for the Right. | The New York Times

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.

Full Article: Selfies in the Voting Booth? Snapchat Fights for the Right. - The New York Times.

Nebraska: Ballot selfies opposed by secretary of state | Licoln Journal Star

Sen. Adam Morfeld’s proposal to allow voters to take selfie photos at their voting precincts that display their ballots and how they voted and show the photos on social media bumped into opposition Thursday from the secretary of state’s office. Deputy Secretary of State Neal Erickson told the Legislature’s Government, Military and Veterans Affairs Committee that it would be “bad public policy” to share photos online that “may well influence how others vote” and cautioned that the practice “could be used by partisan activists.” The broader concern is “preventing fraud at the voting booth,” Erickson said. In response, both Morfeld, a Lincoln senator, and Committee Chairman John Murante of Gretna said people have a constitutional right to express themselves and to attempt to influence how others may vote. “It’s no different than orally encouraging people to vote for candidates you support,” Morfeld said. “Freedom of expression is a protected fundamental constitutional right.”

Full Article: Ballot selfies opposed by secretary of state : Politics.

Nebraska: Lawmaker: Engage youth voters by legalizing ‘ballot selfies’ | Omaha World Herald

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.

Full Article: Lawmaker: Engage youth voters by legalizing ‘ballot selfies’ - Legislature.