Many have fought and died for the right to vote. Now Snapchat is fighting for your right to post a selfie while you’re voting.
“Ballot selfies are the latest in a long historical tradition of voters sharing their civic enthusiasm—and their votes—with their social networks,” the company wrote in an amicus brief filed in New Hampshire, where voting booth selfies are illegal.
But New Hampshire is not alone. A long list of states outlaw the taking of photos in voting booths, including by cellphones. In New Hampshire you can be fined $1,000 for doing so; in Arizona it’s a class 2 misdemeanor; in West Virginia it can land you in jail for a year.
Snapchat is hoping to change all that. In its legal brief, which supports a case by the American Civil Liberties Union against the New Hampshire ban, Snapchat argues that any law against selfies in the voting booth is a violation of free speech.
“Ballot selfies are… all at once deeply personal and virtuously public expressions,” the brief says. “And they’re the sort of expressions that the State cannot categorically ban without violating the First Amendment.”
Though it neglected to do so, the brief could also have cited the ancient principle of “pics or it didn’t happen.”