Taking A 'Ballot Selfie' At The Voting Booth Is Now Legal In California
Voters are now free to take a photo of their ballot from the voting booth, due to a change in state law.
In past elections, some voters have wanted to take "ballot selfies"— pictures of their ballots to post on social media. But that social sharing had been illegal in California to prevent vote buying and voter coercion.
But after the 2016 California primary, the California legislature voted to change the law. That change went into effect Jan. 1, 2017.
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California Secretary of State Alex Padilla recently sent a memo to all county clerks and registrars reminding them of the law change.
"A voter may now take a photograph of their ballot (a 'ballot selfie') and share it on social media," the memo said. "While 'ballot selfies' are now allowed under California law, elections officials and poll workers will still need to exercise their discretion as to whether 'ballot selfies' cause disruptions requiring a response."
San Diego County Registrar of Voters Michael Vu said it's still against the law to take photos or videos of other people voting, so if you are going to take that selfie, be respectful.
"The polling place is a sanctuary for other voters," he said. "And so there's all due courtesy for the person who may be taking a picture of themselves and their ballot inside the polls, to do that very quietly and not disrupt."
The law was originally proposed to "encourage voter pride, political speech, and civic engagement through social media," said state Assemblyman Marc Levine (D-Marin County), who authored the legislation.