Bill would legalize ballot selfies in Michigan

Michigan

LANSING, Mich. (WLNS) – Lawmakers in Lansing are trying to update Michigan law regarding ballot photography. And yes, that includes taking a selfie with your ballot on Election Day.

A bipartisan group of state representatives introduced House Bill 4510 last week. It has been sent to the Committee on Elections and Ethics for review. It would specifically state that Michigan voters are allowed to take photos, including selfies, of their completed in-person or absentee ballots.

The issue of ballot photography entered the limelight in 2016 when a Portage man sued then-Secretary of State Ruth Johnson after finding out that his decision to post a picture of his ballot on social media was against the law. According to our media partners at MLive, he did it in response to an online acquaintance who asked people to write his name in for an election.

That lawsuit was later settled, as announced by Secretary of State Jocelyn Benson in May of last year. However, that settlement only allowed people in voting booths to take pictures of their ballots. Selfies with those ballots are still not allowed. Violating those rules could end up spoiling your ballot.

The new bill would specifically allow selfies with your ballot, whether in the voting booth or at home with an absentee ballot. You would not be able to display that photo within 100 feet of the polling place.

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