Merrill Promotes Voter Pride with ‘Ballot Selfies’
As Alabamians gear up to go to the polls tomorrow for the Primary Runoff Election, Secretary of State John Merrill is introducing a clever new way to let people share that they voted.
In accordance with Act 2019-370, it is illegal to take a photograph of another person's ballot at the polls. In fact, violators of this will be guilty of a Class A misdemeanor and could serve jail time or pay up to $60,000 for doing so. However, this act was revised last year to allow for voters to take a photograph of their own ballots for social media promotion purposes. The official language reads:
Act 2019-370, SB128, adds Section 17-9-50.1 to the Code of Alabama 1975, to: (1) prohibit an individual from taking a photograph of another voter’s ballot or otherwise revealing the contents of another voter’s ballot to anyone other than an individual lawfully assisting the voter at any polling place; (2) provide that any violation is a Class A misdemeanor; and (3) provide that an individual is not prohibited from making available a photograph of his or her own ballot by posting the photograph on the Internet or by some other electronic medium.
The idea behind this is to allow for proud voters to share the accomplishment of voting with their social media followers if they so choose. State Sen. Chris Elliott (R-Daphne) helped to get the measure massed during the last legislative session. As long as the photo does not include anyone's ballot besides the photographer's, it is legal.
“Alabama voters, who have a long history of proudly attending the polls on Election Day, now have the opportunity to share their pride on social media or in other electronic formats through taking a ballot selfie!” Merrill said in a press release. “I am grateful for the work for Senator Chris Elliott and the Alabama Legislature for allowing our voters to express their excitement in the electoral process.”
Poll will be open tomorrow from 7AM until 7PM. To check on your voter registration status or find a polling precinct, click here.