Justin Timberlake recently set off a furor when he posted a selfie of his ballot for the presidential election. News editors around the country began asking: “are ballot selfies legal?” The answer depends upon a state’s election laws.
South Carolina Code of Laws Section 7-25-100(a) governs here. The code specifically states: “[i]t is unlawful …for a voter to allow his ballot to be seen by any person….” South Carolina Attorney General Alan Wilson expounded upon the issue in an AG Opinion on May 12, 2012 to Senator Harvey S. Peeler. According to Wilson, ” It is thus the opinion of this office that any voter who allows his/her ballot to be seen, through any medium, with the apparent intention of letting it be known how he/she is about to or has voted, may be found to have violated the constitutional and statutory mandate for ballot secrecy in this State. “
For the 2016 election, ballot selfies in South Carolina are verboten. Don’t take one. Do vote!