Why you shouldn't Instagram your ballot
A photo of a voter's ballot posted on Instagram. / Instagram
Election Day has arrived, and it seems like some social media addicts are proving to be so enthusiastic, they might be breaking the law.
Several reports are circulating that people are posting photos of their filled-out ballots and even voting booths on Instagram, raising questions over whether or not the practice is illegal. The answer is: It all depends on the state you live in.
A simple search of the hashtag #vote on Instagram shows a handful of photos of ballots, voting booths and people posing in front of polling locations.
The Citizen Media Law Project is an organization that encourages people to document their votes. It also offers an accompanying state-by-state guide to aid in legal troubles that a person might face. For instance, you cannot take photos or use recording equipment at polling places in states like Florida, Georgia, Kentucky, Michigan, Nevada, North Carolina and Texas.
The laws can be tricky, though.
The Citizen Media Law Project notes that in New York State, it's a misdemeanor to show your ballot to any person after it's been filled out. However, the New York Board of Elections told CBS News via email that it is not illegal to photograph your ballot and post it.
Pro Publica points out that in states like Michigan and Hawaii, a ballot can be thrown out if a voter shows it to another person, depending on the circumstance. Those who are unsure may want to double check with their state's elections board.
The Citizen Media Law Project's guide has contact information for each state's elections board, for those who are not sure if they've broken that law by posting photos on Instagram, Twitter or Facebook.
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