Ballot selfies: Are they legal in the Inland Northwest?

SPOKANE, Wash. --  This election year has been exciting, to say the least, and many people are ready to get out there and vote on November 8.

In the age of social media, where everyone is sharing moments of their lives, some may be compelled to take a selfie while they are voting with their ballot. Even singer Justin Timberlake did it.

Only 17 states allow the practice and in 13 more, the way the laws are written might mean voters are doing something wrong when they pose while in their voting booths.

Luckily, in Washington voters don’t go to the polls to cast their ballot. According to Spokane County Auditor Vicky Dalton, taking a picture with your ballot is totally legal but not recommended. She explained that the state constitution is written to allow secrecy of your vote.

Over in Idaho, where people do head to the polls, State Election Director Betsie Kimbrough said the state is silent on the issue. She said it is neither legal nor illegal in the state but again the state constitution guarantees a secret ballot for every voter. They also don’t recommend taking a picture.

Whether or not you decide to take a selfie with your ballot, the most important thing is that you voted!

BUT…officials say people do make mistakes when voting. Dalton said voters in Spokane County need to make sure they sign their voting envelope and fill the oval of their choice thoroughly. This might be a weird thing to mention, but she also wanted to remind people not to put things on their ballots, like food or drink.

(© 2016 KREM)


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