LANSING, Mich. (WLNS) – Not including Michigan, there are 20 states that allow voters to take pictures with their ballot but the question is, if this bill were to pass…what would it mean for the state of Michigan?
“I understand the desire to want to take a selfie you know it didn’t happen unless there’s a picture evidence of it happening…but the secrecy of the ballot and of the voting process is sacred,” said Ingham County Clerk Barb Byrum.
According to Byrum, the ban on taking pictures at the polls goes back decades in Michigan.
“People would pay for a certain vote and one way to prove that you voted that way is to show your ballot and that’s why we don’t allow showing of ballot and pictures of the ballot,” Byrum stated.
The controversy started just one month before voting day last November when a federal court upheld a ban on “ballot selfies” after a different federal judge initially ruled otherwise.
The issue is something Lansing City Clerk Chris Swope believes would be a detriment to elections if allowed.
“It just will cause a lot of confusion and unnecessary disruption in the polling place if we have people in the voting booth taking pictures,” said Swope.
Swope strongly believes it could cause a security risk.
“The security of the ballot doesn’t just protect the individual voter, it protects the whole system of our elections,” Swope added.
But with that being said, both Swope and Byrum say there has to be a way to meet in the middle.
“I think an agreement, some type of give and take on both sides could be had,” said Byrum.
“I think that we could figure out a different sort of bill,” Swope stated.
But as of right now, “ballot selfies” are prohibited in Michigan.