Taking a picture of your marked ballot on Election Day may soon no longer be a crime in Wisconsin, under legislation introduced at the Capitol.
The so-called ‘ballot selfies’ have raised a number of concerns in recent years, with even some political candidates drawing attention for posting a picture of their ballot on social media. While the decision to file charges is left up to local prosecutors, state election officials have frequently reminded the public about the law as smart phones have become more prevalent.
The current law is intended to prevent people from being forced or paid to vote a certain way, and then providing a photo of their ballot as proof. However, state Senator Dave Craig (R-Town of Vernon) says there are concerns it may be an unconstitutional violation of free speech rights. “You should be able to share your political beliefs how you’d like to,” he argues.
Craig says there are also concerns that many voters don’t realize the law exists, despite efforts to raise awareness. He’s hoping his bill will help to clear up any confusion the current restriction may have created in past elections.
The bill has not yet received a public hearing.