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Politics & Government

Wisconsin Voters: Think Twice Before Posting a Ballot Selfie


With all the hype surrounding Tuesday's presidential election, some voters may be tempted to take a photo at the polling place to remember the occasion. For instance, a picture of their completed ballot, or perhaps a selfie with their completed ballot.

But Wisconsin has a law that says you cannot show your completed ballot to another person. So taking a selfie at the polling site is problematic, according to Reid Magney of the Wisconsin Elections Commission. He says the issue isn't so much the photo itself, but rather what people could do with it.

"Taking a picture of your ballot or a picture of yourself with your ballot and posting that on social media could be construed as showing your ballot to another person," he says.

Magney says the intent of the law is to prevent people from selling their votes.

"I would give you five dollars to vote a certain way, but partly you'd have to show me your ballot so I would know that's how you actually voted, you're not cheating me," Magney says.

Some states have passed laws stating that ballot selfies are illegal, but two federal courts have found those laws to be unconstitutional. Yet while Wisconsin’s rule isn’t specific, Magney urges voters to stay on the safe side.

"Our advice to people is generally don't do it, and the reason is because somebody who's following you on Twitter or one of your friends on Facebook might report you," he says.

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