Judge: Your Right to a Secret Ballot Doesn't Exist

Denver ruling says it's not spelled out in US Constitution
By John Johnson,  Newser Staff
Posted Sep 22, 2012 1:24 PM CDT
A judge says the right to a secret ballot doesn't exist.   (Shutterstock)

(Newser) – You may think what you do in the voting booth is privileged information, but a federal judge in Denver begs to differ: The Constitution provides no "fundamental right" to a secret ballot, says US District Judge Christine Arguello. Her ruling came in a case in which an advocacy group sued to prevent Boulder County from putting bar codes on ballots this November, reports the Denver Post. The group, Citizen Center, says the bar codes could theoretically be used to track how an individual voted.

"To hear the court say that it is all right for the government and all of the election workers in Boulder County to have access to how we vote is absolutely shocking," says its founder. But Secretary of State Scott Gessler says the bar codes aren't there for nefarious purposes but to help in case ballots don't scan properly or need to be processed manually. (This gets convoluted, and TimesCall.com has a fuller explanation.) In fact, he says, " voter secrecy is better protected now than ever before." Just not in principle, apparently.

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