Are Ballot Selfies Even Legal? Double Check Your State's Laws Before You Post

Hold the phone! (Literally.) That ballot selfie you’re about to take might be illegal. Fortunately, Vox has put together a state-by-state list of where your ballot selfie is totally OK, and where it could land you a hefty fine, or even jail time.

In 21 (mostly Northwestern) states, plus the District of Columbia, ballot selfies are perfectly legal. In 16 other states, mostly in the South, it’s explicitly forbidden. In the remaining 13 states, either the law is ambiguous, or there are only specific instances where it’s legal.

Why are ballot selfies such a big deal, you ask? Great question! According to Vox, proponents of the ballot selfie support it because it’s just one way of expressing free speech. They also say that it helps increase young voter turnout by making voting look fun, a point that Facebook confirmed when it found users were more likely to vote if their friends posted about it.

On the other hand, some say ballot selfies could make it easier for candidates to buy votes, as people would just be able to snap a quick photo to prove who they voted for. Snapchat has even gotten involved in the debate, going to court in New Hampshire for the pro-selfie side.

According to Digital Trends, Snapchat filed an brief against the ballot selfie ban in 2016, stating that the law prevented news from being properly gathered. The company portrayed ballot selfies as integral parts of the modern voting procedure. “The ballot selfie captures the very essence of that process as it happens … [it] dramatizes the power that one person has to influence our government,” said the brief, Digital Trends reports.

Power to the people, indeed. As with any legally sketchy situation, just be sure to check before you act. If you’re in doubt, maybe just stick to posting selfies with your “I voted” sticker, like all of these celebs.