Can you take a photo of yourself and your voting ballot in 2016 in the voting booth and post it to social media without getting in trouble? What about just a photo of your ballot while voting for the hotly contested 2016 presidential race — minus the selfie? Will that get you in trouble for posting it to Twitter, Facebook, Snapchat or Instagram? A search for the “ballot” tag on Instagram turns up plenty of photos like the following, which shows a person stating that they voted for Donald Trump as a registered Democrat.
Another person showed that they voted for Jill Stein, as seen in the next photo posted to Instagram.
It isn’t known which states many of these folks are voting within, but hopefully, some of them are within states where posting photos of ballots aren’t illegal.
Some of the ballots that were previously posted online have been deleted — likely after the person realized that their ballots had the chance of being nullified for doing so.
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According to TMZ, Donald Trump’s son, Eric Trump, might be in trouble for his social media ballot photo. Eric posted and deleted a photo to Twitter, which included a photo of Eric’s ballot, showing off the fact that he voted for his dad. The publication claims that Eric broke the laws of New York by taking a photo of his ballot and posting it to Twitter with the following words.
“It is an incredible honor to vote for my father!”
Perhaps that’s why Eric, 32, deleted the tweet from Twitter of his ballot. Trump could be staring down at a $1,000 fine and one year in jail for the voting booth faux pas.
As reported by TMZ, Justin Timberlake had also recently made the same mistake — not realizing that in some states, taking photos of ballots in the voting booth and uploading those photos to social media is against the law — and might nullify the person’s vote.
Folks are concerned about taking selfies with their ballots — as reported by Snopes — because of all the cases such as those witnessed above. The publication reported that they received a tip from someone concerned about ballot selfies being illegal.
“I am reading on social media sites that it is illegal to post your voting ballot. Is this true, if so do you lose your vote?”
Snopes looked into the claims that posting completed voting ballots online was illegal, as noted in the following paragraph.
“ORIGIN: Posting a picture of one’s completed ballot on social media sites such as Snapchat, Instagram, Twitter, and Facebook has become a popular activity on Election Day in recent years. However, many voters who have pondered doing so have been warned away by claims that taking a photograph of a ballot and posting that picture online is illegal and/or will potentially invalidate the poster’s vote, which has prompted a number of inquiries from our readers about whether this is so.”
In the end, the publication noted that it depends on the state-level laws what kinds of punishment a ballot-toting, selfie-taking voter might face for publishing their photos online.
In the end, those worried about breaking the law by taking voting booth and ballot selfies are being advised just to not take any photos inside polling places if they don’t want to risk their votes being nullified.
As seen in the top above photo, a voter casts his ballot in the Chelsea neighborhood of New York, on Tuesday, November 8, Election Day. Meanwhile, the photo of Trump checking over Melania’s shoulder while in the voting booths has gone viral.
[Featured Image by David Goldman/AP Images]