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Is a selfie in the voting booth legal? Check this tool first

Friends don’t let friends pull a Justin Timberlake

Image credit: Natt Garun

One of the most important elections in history has finally arrived. This year, the number of millennial voters has caught up to baby boomers in the electorate, each accounting for roughly 31 percent of the voting-eligible population. Politicians have looked to social media as a method of attracting young voters’ attention, but if you’re hoping to encourage young folks to vote by sharing your ballot selfie, take pause.

In many states, taking a selfie or a photo at a polling place is considered illegal — regardless of intention. What’s in your selfie and where you take it are also something to consider: Illinois, for example, considers showing your marked ballot to another person a felony, while others like Missouri and Ohio say it’s only illegal if you are purposely trying to coerce another person’s vote. States like New York and Michigan were still scrambling at the last minute to define their stance on ballot selfies. Both states upheld the ban, but Colorado on Friday declared selfies are a part of a voter’s First Amendment rights.

While it’s pretty difficult for most states to prosecute illegal ballot selfies, it’s better to not run the risk of getting your vote voided. For those of you who live in states where ballot selfies are outlawed, you’re just gonna have to make do with the “I voted” stickers. (It’s fine! Wear them proudly!)

If you’re unsure whether you can legally take ballot selfies, here’s a neat tool for you to see what the rulings are in your state. Happy elections!

Disclaimer: The above information was last updated on November 7, 2016.