Why You Probably Shouldn’t Snap a Selfie When You Go to Vote

BY Killian Bell

Published 7 Nov 2016

Justin Timberlake voting selfie

It’s your duty to vote, and you should be proud of the fact that you went and did it — but do yourself a favor and avoid taking a selfie to prove it. In many states, it’s illegal to take pictures in voting booths, and doing so could get you prosecuted.

“Just be aware that you may be breaking the law,” warns Recode. “About half the states in the country have rules prohibiting ballot selfies or other acts involving cameras in voting booths.”

This includes New York, where a federal judge decided the selfie ban should remain in place last week. In California, voting booth selfies will become legal in 2017, however, they remain illegal for this election. They’re also illegal in Texas, Florida, and Massachusetts.

If you really must take a selfie when you go to vote, check out NBC’s list of states that allow them so that you can be sure you’re not going to get into trouble. New Hampshire is one state that allows them, alongside Arizona, Oregon, Indiana, and Delaware.

In many states, including Hawaii, Arkansas, Kansas, Kentucky, and Washington, the law is “unclear,” according to NBC.

Many, including Snapchat, argue that banning selfies achieves nothing. There’s also an argument that says taking pictures of yourself voting is a good thing — encouraging others to go and do the same — and should be protected as free speech.

The good news is, there’s “very little record of people being prosecuted for this stuff,” Recode says. Even in states where it’s illegal, then, there’s a chance you’ll get away with it — just like Justin Timberlake in the photo above.

But it’s risky, and we don’t know when law enforcers will decide to take the rule more seriously. Unless you really, really have to take that voting booth selfie, then, it’s best to avoid it in states that don’t allow it.

[via Recode, NBC]