In a decision that will force you to pick between not documenting a piece of your life or risking jail to rack up those likes, a federal judge upheld New York State's ban on ballot selfies.
Judge Kevin Castel issued a 41-page ruling late yesterday that found New York State was within its rights to prevent people from taking pictures of their ballots. In addition, Castel ruled that New York City's law against photography in polling places was also legal.
In the case of the city's law, Castel sided with city lawyers who argued that the prohibition on taking pictures at polling places prevented delays at the ballot box. As for the ballot selfies, typically pictures of people's marked ballots before they turn in them, Castel declared that the law preventing them was a reasonable way for the state to prevent intimidation or vote buying.
"The State of New York has a compelling interest in preventing vote buying and voter coercion," Castel wrote in his decision. "The State's interest in the integrity of its elections is paramount."
A picture of a blank ballot is still legal in New York, which is why the photo accompanying this article will not get the photographer or this article's author in trouble. An attorney for the plaintiffs in the ballot selfies case vowed an appeal, telling Reuters that "while the courts continue to expand First Amendment rights for wealthy and corporate interests, it is critical that we ensure that ordinary citizens maintain their First Amendment rights as well."
Judge Castel was also the judge who refused to grant a temporary halt on enforcement of the law last November. Assemblymember Linda Rosenthal and state Senator Brad Hoylman announced their intention to introduce a bill to legalize ballot selfies this year, but at least one member of the Assembly said he was in opposition specifically because of the way it could slow down the voting process.