Ballot Selfie? Not So Fast…

Careful where you take that shot, Mr. Timberlake... (picture courtesy of
Careful where you take that shot, Mr. Timberlake…
(picture courtesy of
Americans’ love affair with smartphones and social media, amidst the current political crescendo, has led to an apparently tricky policy question that varies state by state: Is it legal to take and post a “selfie” with my completed ballot?

In Maryland… nope.

The Associated Press ran an analysis of each state’s laws (published in the Cumberland Times-News) regarding use of electronic equipment in the polling place, and summarized Maryland’s law as follows:

MARYLAND: Bans electronic devices in a polling place except for the media. And even media members aren’t allowed to photograph a ballot that shows how someone is voting. But photos of mailed ballots are OK.

The State Elections Administrator advises that Maryland’s policy is technically on the “use” of devices (including cell phones) in the polling area:

You cannot use your cell phone, pager, camera, and computer equipment in an early voting center or at a polling place.

Michael Sanderson

Executive Director Maryland Association of Counties