This article was published on April 27, 2016

Snapchat joins the ACLU in fight for your right to take selfies in the voting booth

Snapchat joins the ACLU in fight for your right to take selfies in the voting booth Image by: Lolostock / Shutterstock
Bryan Clark
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Bryan Clark

Former Managing Editor, TNW

Bryan is a freelance journalist. Bryan is a freelance journalist.

Last week, Snapchat filed paperwork as part of a legal case to defend your rights to take, and share, ‘ballot selfies’ at the polls.

The filing is the latest development in an 18 month battle between the ACLU and New Hampshire over a 2014 law that takes away our god-given right to take a selfie in the voting booth, you know, principles America was founded on. Offenders who violated the law were subject to fines up to $1,000.

The ACLU challenged the law saying that it violated American’s rights to free speech and, in August of 2015, a federal court agreed. Since then, New Hampshire has appealed the decision — a case that’s still making its way through the system.

To aid in the fight, Snapchat stepped forward to lend support for ‘ballet selfies.’ Since it wasn’t part of the original case, this support came in the form of amicus brief — a document showing support for one side in the case.

In the brief, Snapchat lawyers wrote:

A ballot selfie — like a campaign button — is a way to express support for or against a cause or a candidate. And because it is tangible proof of how a voter has voted, a ballot selfie is a uniquely powerful form of political expression. It proves that the voter’s stated political convictions are not just idle talk. Not only that, but ballot selfies and other digital expressions of civic engagement encourage others to vote — particularly younger voters who have historically low turnout rates. Ballot selfies are thus all at once deeply personal and virtuously public expressions.

So New Hampshire residents, get out there and exercise your First Amendment right to take a selfie in the voting booth (at least for now — while it’s still legal), and while you’re there, you might as well cast a ballot.

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