Should You Take a Ballot Selfie?

Showing your ballot to anyone, including your Instagram followers, is against the law in New York and several other states. So … maybe not!


By Valeriya Safronova

In a recent Instagram video, Whoopi Goldberg fills out her New York State mail-in ballot, joining other celebrity early voters like Zoë Kravitz, Elle Fanning, Joe Jonas, Tracee Ellis Ross and Lily Collins, all of whom recently posted images of their own ballots or “I voted” stickers on social media.

Ms. Goldberg’s completed ballot is blurred out in the video; were it not, she could be guilty of committing a misdemeanor.

In New York, as in a number of other states, showing your ballot after “it is prepared for voting” or asking someone to show theirs is against the law.

Each election cycle, voters in New York, Illinois, Florida and elsewhere are reminded that taking photos of their ballots is illegal. And each election cycle, people post ballot selfies on Instagram, Twitter and Facebook anyway.

This year might see a higher streak of violations than usual, given the number of people expected to vote by absentee ballot from home, where taking out a phone and snapping a quick photo is much easier than in a booth at one’s polling place.

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