- Associated Press - Saturday, November 1, 2014

PEORIA, Ill. (AP) - Already thinking about that perfect voting booth selfie on Election Day? You may want to think again.

Taking a cellphone picture of yourself and your marked-up ballot could be considered a felony.

A provision of Illinois election law forbids showing others your ballot, The (Peoria) Journal Star reported (https://bit.ly/1E9Ki8H ). It dates back to the early 1970s, long before the smartphone era, but could apply to digital images as much as to a Polaroid.

The prohibition in section 29-9 of the election code is meant to thwart vote-buying schemes by making it harder to prove to someone after the fact that a person voted in a certain way, explained Ken Menzel, deputy general counsel of the Illinois State Board of Elections.

“If I marked up my ballot and tweeted a picture to you, there’s at least some ways to interpret this section to say I’ve marked my ballot” in a way that it can be observed, Menzel told the newspaper.

Still, the odds may be slim you’d be headed to the big house.

Menzel has never heard of a prosecution for posting a ballot image on social media. And Peoria County State’s Attorney Jerry Brady said under such circumstances he’d be unlikely to pursue a prosecution.

In any case, cellphones are discouraged in polling places both to keep people from snapping photos and to stop them from carrying on conversations, especially about candidates, Peoria Election Commission Director Tom Bride said.


Information from: Journal Star, https://pjstar.com

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