Voting booth “selfies” are illegal in Massachusetts

ACLU says such laws violate freedom of speech

HOLYOKE, Mass. (WWLP) – In the digital age, it seems that everywhere you turn, someone is taking a selfie, but there is still one place where it is illegal to do so.

In more than half of the country, including Massachusetts, it is illegal to take selfies in the voting booth, or pictures of your ballot. If you do take a selfie in the voting booth, you could have to pay a healthy fine.

Holyoke City Clerk Brenna Murphy McGee told 22News that laws prohibiting taking selfies in voting booths or pictures of ballots are in place to protect people’s privacy when they come out to vote.

“It is illegal to take any kind of replication of your ballot, and that goes for selfies and taking pictures of voting in general as well,” McGee said.

There is, however, controversy surrounding the illegality of taking selfies in the voting booth. The American Civil Liberties Union argued Tuesday before the U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals that prohibiting voters from sharing ballot photos on social media violates the right to free speech. The court has not immediately ruled on the matter.

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