You may want to hold off on that voting booth selfie and here’s why
In two short days, it’s going to be November 8…and you know what that means: Election Day! You’re probably super excited to get out there and #rockthevote. Good for you, because suffragettes worked really hard to win voting rights for women, and we should all be marching proudly to the polls on Tuesday.
But hold up. Even though you’re amped to cast your ballot, but you might want to stand down on the Instagram, Snapchat, and Facebook fronts.
And yes, that includes voting booth selfies (we’re looking at you, Justin Timberlake).
Because we live in the age of social media and need to know these things, Buzzfeed reported on where it’s legal to post from the polls, and where you definitely need to exercise some caution.
(Passionate civilian Cass Bernstein shares a pic of her doing her civic duty in Arlington County, Virginia — where #votingboothselfies are legal. Phew.)
The issue was first brought to the public eye when Justin Timberlake flew from LA to Memphis to vote in his home state of Tennessee and posted the Instagram-heard-round-the-world. According to the now-shuttered local news source TNReport, in 2015, the Tennessee governor signed a bill that made it illegal to take photographs in voting locations. So, Justin could have faced 30 days in jail or a $50 fine! Thankfully, the DA office did not investigate the matter, reported CNN.
There are many states in which the #votingboothselfie is illegal, not just Tennessee.
So the Associate Press went around and asked each state what the deal was.
Existing legislation isn’t always clear about whether it’s OK or not to take photos at the polls. In fact, there are 18 states where it’s illegal, and 13 states that don’t explicitly state anything.
If you ask us, we’d rather be safe than sorry, and skip the selfie altogether.
You can see it all laid out in this graphic developed by Buzzfeed:
Here’s the official list of how all 50 state governments feel about the #votingboothselfie:
States where it’s legal:
States where it’s illegal:
States where we just aren’t sure:
Now get out there and vote — just maybe keep your phone in your pocket.