Questions raised over selfies in the voting booth

Campaign 2016

LANSING, Mich (WLNS) – “I feel like I should have the right to take a selfie with my ballot if I choose to.”

For Isabella Kercorian this will be her first year voting in a presidential election.

And she thinks everyone should have the right to express who they’re voting for.

But since 1981 Michigan has had a ban on exposing your completed ballot.

That includes taking selfies or pictures of any kind inside the precinct.

Just last week a higher court ruled against a lower court to uphold Michigan’s ban on ballot selfies.

However, in an era full of cellphones and social media posts, Ingham County clerk Barb Byrum says she gets why people might be upset.

“I think individuals want to take a picture with their ballot because the ballot has the date of the election on it and everything else. It’s proof that you, you participated in history, and I understand that desire. Take a pic or it didn’t happen, right?”

But changing the rules with less than a week away would leave the 30,000 precinct workers in Michigan wondering what to do next.

“People may feel intimidated if they’re in the background of someone taking a selfie, so we have to keep other voters in mind.”

And keeping voters in mind is just what Michigan Secretary of State Ruth Johnson is trying to do.

“Our votes in America are our votes, not to have to be shared with others,” says Johnson. “It is so important that we continue that tradition in America that we do have that freedom to do what we want.”

Johnson says just because you can’t take a selfie with your ballot doesn’t mean that you shouldn’t take a picture on election day.

“When they leave, or when they have the “I voted” sticker, I hope they do take a selfie and send it to all their friends and neighbors to encourage them to vote.”

And for Kercorian that’s exactly what she plans to do, already hoping to post her selfie to Snapchat.

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