ballot selfies

NHPR Staff

New Hampshire residents can continue to safely snap photos inside the voting booth, after the U.S. Supreme Court declined to take up the state’s request for an appeal in a years-long battle over so-called “ballot selfies.”

Still, even after multiple judges have ruled the ban unconstitutional, Secretary of State Bill Gardner says he’s still not giving up on finding a way to wall off the practice. 

NHPR Staff

A New Hampshire law banning photographs of marked ballots has been struck down by the first circuit court of appeals.

The ruling marks the second time a federal court has found so-called ballot selfies permissible under the first amendment.

New Hampshire's law, which took effect in 2014 made displaying a picture of a marked ballot a crime punishable by a $1000 fine. 

The theory behind the law, championed by NH secretary of state Bill Gardner, is that permitting people to prove how they voted, opened the door to potential voter coercion.

Allegra Boverman for NHPR

Concerned over election fraud, the New Hampshire Secretary of State's office wants to keep on the books a state law that bans posting ballot photos to social media.

The Caledonian Record reports the office has taken its case to the First Circuit Court of Appeals in Boston.

A federal judge ruled Aug. 13 that the law passed last year prohibiting residents from photographing their marked ballots and sharing them violated free speech and isn't necessary to stop election fraud, which is what proponents of the law— including the Secretary of State's office —had argued.

Allegra Boverman for NHPR

New Hampshire was the first state to expressly prohibit ballot selfies.

The logic was that allowing people to prove how they voted could lead to vote buying or coercion.

The federal court found those interests insufficient to ban what amounted to political speech.