Don't Even Think of Taking a Selfie in a WVa Voting Booth

It's technically illegal, and they'll (somehow) be watching
By Newser Editors and Wire Services
Posted May 2, 2016 12:35 PM CDT
Don't Even Think of Taking a Selfie in a WVa Voting Booth
Miami Republican state Rep. Jose Felix Diaz, foreground, takes a selfie with a group of canvassers before the start of a news conference on April 7, 2016, in Miami.   (AP Photo/Wilfredo Lee)

If you want to share your voting experience on social media, you'll have to find some way other than taking a photo in the voting booth in West Virginia: Natalie Tennant, the secretary of state there, says such selfies are forbidden, the AP reports. The Charleston Gazette-Mail points out that, per the West Virginia election code, "No person may enter a voting booth with any recording or electronic device in order to record or interfere with the voting process." Punishment for violating this rule could result in up to a year in jail, a $1,000 fine, or both. The law was reportedly put in place to prevent candidates from "buying" votes (meaning a voter would snap a picture proving he or she cast a vote for a particular candidate, then be compensated by the candidate).

Tennant says signs are posted in every West Virginia precinct, and poll workers have been instructed to tell people not to have devices out while voting. (It's not clear how strictly this will be enforced and whether people will have to surrender the devices before entering the booth.) A rep from Tennant's office advises people who want to prove they voted to simply take a snapshot outside a voting precinct or early voting site instead of inside the booth. Still, a professor at the West Virginia University College of Law tells the Gazette-Mail he wonders how practical the rule is. "It's just so easy to take a picture now." (We wouldn't have seen a voting booth selfie of Anderson Cooper anyway, for a different reason.)

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