In an unconventional election and voting year, it’s understandable that you’re proud of yourself for voting and that many people want to get the word out to vote. But did you know that posting a picture of yourself with your mail-in or in-person ballot, also known as a “ballot selfie” is illegal in many states including New Jersey?
While voters are eager to share that they voted on social media, the reason behind the law is meant to protect the privacy of all voters since it’s possible that when you snap a pic at the polls, you could also be inadvertently showing someone else’s private information.
Taking pictures at the polls can also lead to longer wait times to vote. This year, many Americans will likely vote by mail-in ballot due to COVID-19 concerns. But before you snap a shot of yourself holding up that ballot – think again. While most laws don’t address social media specifically, there are laws against showing your marked ballot to others, which posting would violate.
In 2016, singer Justin Timberlake learned the hard way that taking selfies in the voting booth is illegal in Tennessee. The singer had flown from California to his home state to vote in the presidential election but ended up doing something illegal by snapping a pic of himself.
And while it may seem like a drag that we can’t freely show that we’ve voted, remember that we get to vote by secret ballot in order to protect US citizens from things like voter bribery, coercion or people trying to buy your vote.
Still want to show your civic pride? There’s absolutely nothing wrong snapping a shot next to a ballot box after you’ve dropped off your vote, or sporting those those “I Voted” stickers to show you are a super-cool, law-abiding New Jersey voter!