September 29, 2016 •
Court Rules New Hampshire Ballot Selfie Ban Unconstitutional
The 1st U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals struck down a New Hampshire law banning “ballot selfies.” The 2014 law imposing fines of up to $1,000 for anyone who took a picture of their marked ballot was passed to combat vote buying or voter coercion.
The three-judge panel unanimously decided the ban was overbroad and a violation of voters’ right to free speech. In overturning the law, the court cited insufficient and uncorroborated evidence connecting ballot selfies and voter coercion.
The suit was filed by the ACLU on behalf of three voters including state Rep. Leon Rideout (R) and a man who wrote in his dog’s name on the ballot and posted the photo on Facebook, only to later have it censored.
California recently repealed a state law making ballot selfies a felony. However, more than 20 states still have laws against photographing marked ballots or using a camera inside a polling place.
State and Federal Communications, Inc. provides research and consulting services for government relations professionals on lobbying laws, procurement lobbying laws, political contribution laws in the United States and Canada. Learn more by visiting stateandfed.com.