“Ballot selfies” are illegal in TN and other states

TRI-CITIES, TN/VA – This election season, thousands of voters are posting pictures of their ballots on social media.

The trend is called “ballot selfies” but before taking one, keep in mind, “ballot selfies” are illegal in some states including Tennessee.

“There was a new law that went into effect last year that makes it a Class C Misdemeanor to use a mobile device of any kind to take pictures, video or to make a phone call with that device inside polling places,” said Sullivan County Election Administrator Jason Booher.

Booher told News Channel 11, if a voter tries to take a picture inside the voting area, they will be asked to stop. But if that person continues to take pictures despite the warning, Booher said there will be consequences.

“Ultimately if push comes to shove we can have someone charged for that violation,” said Booher.

In Tennessee, taking pictures inside of a polling place can carry a 30 day jail sentence and a $50 fine.

Across the state line in Virginia, the attorney general released an opinion that states it is legal for voters to take pictures of themselves while voting.

“We have a whole new generation of people that are voting now and so they expect and see things differently than my generation did,” said Bristol Virginia Voter Registrar Penny Limburgh.

“One of our first absentee voters wanted to know, can we take a picture? And we did we let them…but I think the important thing that we need to remember is every voter still has a right to vote a private ballot,” said Limburgh.

Limburgh said for those who decide to take a ballot selfie, they must be careful not to take a picture of anyone else without permission.


Copyright 2016 WJHL. All rights reserved.

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