Tags: snapchat | ballot | selfies

Snapchat Ballot Selfies Threat Turns App Into Friend of Court

Image: Snapchat Ballot Selfies Threat Turns App Into Friend of Court

A man leaves voting booth in Philadelp[hia during Pennsylvania's primary on Tuesday. (Jessica Kourkounis/Getty Images)

By    |   Wednesday, 27 Apr 2016 10:16 AM

Snapchat ballot selfies – you taking a pic of yourself voting – are under threat, including in New Hampshire where a law banning photography in the voting booth was struck down. Now the social media app has filed an amicus brief in connection with an appeal of that ruling.

Last August a federal court struck down the law that banned displaying people marking their ballots, reported NPR. The court said the ban violated free speech rights.

Defenders of the law argued that taking photos in the voting booth could lead to vote selling or coercion, but the court said there was no evidence showing that was a problem in New Hampshire.

New Hampshire state officials have challenged the ruling in the First Circuit Court of Appeals in Boston, reported Boston.com., and Snapchat has filed a stand-alone amicus brief supporting the right to take pictures in the voting booth, reported International Business Times.

"The app has received thousands of photos and videos from inside voting booths during the U.S. presidential primaries, as stated in the amicus brief," said International Business Times. "Snapchat can see these images when users choose to submit them for Live Stories, a curated feed around events."

"For instance, Snapchat had a feed … called 'Voter Day New York' for the New York primary. Users could see Donald Trump exercise his right to vote as well as see completed ballots." 

The Los Angeles Business Journal said numerous states have enacted similar photography and filming bans where ballots are cast, but Snapchat argued in its brief that those laws are outdated in today's social media age.

"The ballot selfie may be a new method of expression, but it's an expression as old as the Republic itself," said the Snapchat brief . "The State's clumsy bid to ban it is unconstitutional and should be struck down."

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Snapchat ballot selfies – you taking a pic of yourself voting – are under threat, including in New Hampshire where a law banning photography in the voting booth was struck down. Now the social media app has filed an amicus brief in connection with an appeal of that ruling.
snapchat, ballot, selfies
309
2016-16-27
Wednesday, 27 Apr 2016 10:16 AM
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