As with practically every other moment in your life, from childbirth to lunch, it’s all right to take pictures of yourself voting Tuesday and post them online for the world to see, according to the Kentucky attorney general’s office.
Nothing in Kentucky elections law prohibits “ballot selfies,” Assistant Attorney General Taylor Payne wrote in an opinion released Monday that was requested by Secretary of State Alison Lundergan Grimes.
“A voter’s ballot is absolutely privileged and the veil of secrecy should be impenetrable, unless the voter voluntarily lifts it,” Payne wrote, quoting from an 1890 decision by the Kentucky Court of Appeals.
But proud voters should click cautiously, Payne wrote. It is illegal to record the identities of other people casting their votes in the same polling place. And voters cannot broadcast their “support or nonsupport for a candidate or measure on the ballot” while they’re still in the voting room. So it might be a good idea to hit send after you’re in the parking lot.
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The Associated Press has reported that ballot selfies are legal in 20 states and the District of Columbia and illegal in 17 states. Their legal status in the remaining 13 states was uncertain, the AP said.
Singer Justin Timberlake made headlines last month by taking a selfie as he voted early in his hometown of Memphis and posting the picture on Instagram.
“Hey! You! Yeah, YOU! I just flew from LA to Memphis to #rockthevote !!! No excuses, my good people!,” Timberlake wrote in his accompanying post. “There could be early voting in your town too. If not, November 8th! Choose to have a voice!”
In Tennessee, however, it is illegal to take pictures or shoot video inside a polling place. The Shelby County district attorney’s office issued a statement saying it was aware of Timberlake’s ballot selfie, and it “is currently reviewing … a possible violation of election law.”