Taking a ballot selfie is illegal in at least 20 states. But whereas some states impose a fine against people who snap photos at the polls, Michigan has the most strict law against ballot selfies. The penalty for taking a photo of your ballot on Election Day in Michigan is losing your right to vote.
Voters have challenges laws against ballot selfies in states across the country. In Colorado, a court just ruled that voters there have a right to take ballot selfies. New Hampshire did the same thing earlier this year. But Michigan isn’t so lucky. Last month, the US Court of Appeals for the 6th Circuit ruled last month that it was too close to Election Day to change the law. If you live in Michigan, don’t take a ballot selfie or you could be punished by having your vote revoked.
There’s currently a lot of ambiguity in some states about where ballot selfies are legal. A list of where ballot selfies are definitely illegal is below:
- New Jersey
- New Mexico
- New York
- North Carolina
- South Carolina
- South Dakota
There are a bunch of states where the legality of ballot selfies is more in flux. For instance, the Associated Press notes that Oklahoma has had a law banning photos of ballots for almost 40 years, but the law doesn’t specify any penalties. States like Delaware and Iowa also have laws against electronic devices in voting booths, but it’s not clear what would happen if you were caught with a phone in one.
If you see your state on the list above it’s probably smart to just be on the safe side and not take a ballot selfie. Some places you’ll risk a fine. But if you live in Michigan, you could get your vote taken away entirely.