ballot selfies

Roland Tanglao / https://www.flickr.com/photos/roland/

Hoosiers headed to the polls Tuesday will be able to snap a picture of their ballot after a federal judge last month halted a new law banning such photos, but the law’s author doesn’t want to give up the fight to prohibit so-called “ballot selfies.”

In oral arguments over the ballot selfie ban and in her ruling, Judge Sarah Evans Barker discussed the idea of writing the law differently to clear up its constitutional pitfalls.  For example, the idea of more narrowly tailoring the ban – allowing photos of unmarked ballots, for instance. 

K. Latham / https://www.flickr.com/photos/programwitch/

Hoosiers going to the polls next month will be able to take a photo of their ballot after a federal judge halted a new state law banning so-called “ballot selfies.” 

The state said its law banning people from taking pictures of their ballot – whether filled out or not – in the voting booth was to help prevent voter coercion and vote buying and selling.  But federal judge Sarah Evans Barker says the state didn’t show any evidence that those problems exist.

K. Latham / https://www.flickr.com/photos/programwitch/

The ACLU says an Indiana law barring voters from taking pictures of their ballot in the voting booth violates the First Amendment, but the state is countering that the legislature is trying to prevent voter fraud. 

Each side presented their arguments in a federal court hearing Tuesday.

The state offered several potential problems the so-called “ballot selfie” law seeks to prevent: taking photos of one’s ballot could help facilitate buying and selling votes.  Barring pictures of a ballot could also help prevent voter intimidation and coercion.