Voters likely not in legal peril for ballot selfies

There is a law on the books in Illinois that makes it a felony to take a picture of your ballot, but the Illinois State Board of Elections said that doesn’t mean a ballot selfie will land you in prison.

The reality, according to Jim Tenuto with the Illinois State Board of Elections, is that no one is likely going to have the time to catch you on Election Day, then make the case against you.

“It’s kind of a gray area, in a sense that there’s different views throughout,” Tenuto said. “There appears to be no prohibition on taking a selfie.”

Tenuto said the felony for ballot pictures dates back decades and has more to do with voter fraud than bragging on Facebook that you cast a ballot.

“The fear is that if someone takes a picture of the ballot, that could be used to say ‘Hey, look, I voted the way you wanted.’ ” Tenuto said. “It could be used to encourage vote buying.”

Tenuto said ballot-selfie bans in other states have been overturned.

Tenuto said it’s always best to check with your county clerk or local election judge before you take a picture.

And if you’re looking for a safe social media selfie, Tenuto suggests taking a picture with your “I voted” sticker instead.

–Illinois News Network

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