Get us in your inbox

Voting booths
Photograph: Shutterstock

Here is a list of states where it is illegal to take a selfie with your ballot

Be careful!

Written by
Anna Rahmanan
Advertising

As Election Day approaches and folks make use of early voting and mail-in ballot opportunities, our social media feeds are flooded with countless images of people heading to the polls and posing with their ballots. But as innocent of a trend as that may seem to be, taking a selfie with your ballot is actually illegal in certain states.

RECOMMENDED: Everything you should know about Election Day so far

To be clear: you're allowed to snap a picture of and with a sealed envelope but it is illegal to show off your marked ballot because it might lead to vote challenges, for example. 

Specific laws differ by state, as do the repercussions of a potential offense. In Tennessee, for example, selfie ballots could cost citizens up to 30 days in jail and a $50 fine.

Certain states have recently been taking the popularity of social media into account and have changed their laws. In California, Colorado, Hawaii, Nebraska, Oregon and Utah, for example, the local governments have passed legislation to actually allow voters to snap and publish photos with their marked ballots. 

"The explosion of social media and 'selfie' culture has also challenged the traditional thinking that voters should not disclose how they voted," writes the National Conference of State Legislatures in reaction to the mentioned states' change in rulings. "Many young people, who share everything on social media, find it logical that they should be able to share a photo of their voted ballot with friends and followers. 'Get-out-the-vote' organizations also find posting these 'ballot selfies' to be a motivating factor for younger people to participate in the voting process."

Below, we list the states where ballot selfies are allowed, where they're prohibited and where rules are a bit murky.

States where ballot selfies are allowed:

Arkansas
California
Colorado
Connecticut
Delaware
District of Columbia
Hawaii
Idaho
Indiana
Kansas
Kentucky
Louisiana
Maine
Michigan
Minnesota
Montana
Nebraska
New Hampshire
North Dakota
Oklahoma
Oregon
Rhode Island
Utah
Vermont
Virginia
Washington
Wyoming

States where ballot selfies are illegal:

Alabama
Alaska
Florida
Georgia
Illinois
Massachusetts
Mississippi
Nevada
New Jersey
New Mexico
New York
North Carolina
South Carolina
South Dakota
Wisconsin

States where ballot selfie rules are murky:

Arizona
Delaware
Iowa
Maryland
Missouri
Ohio
Pennsylvania
Tennessee
Texas
West Virginia 

Latest news

    Advertising