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You Might Have Broken The Law If You Instagrammed Your Ballot

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ILLEGAL TO INSTAGRAM BALLOT
Poll worker Chris Theriot hands out an "I Voted Today!" sticker after a resident placed her ballot in the box at the North Street School in Greenwich, Conn., Tuesday, Nov. 6, 2012. (AP Photo/Charles Krupa) | AP

It's a familiar motif of modern-day life: Had a baby, bought a house or a enjoyed a particularly delicious hamburger? If so, Instagram it immediately (or Facebook post it, Tweet it, etc.) so that everyone you know can envision exactly what you're celebrating.

And if a slab of bacon warrants such social media promotion, why shouldn't voting?

That's the logic that seems to have been used by the hoards of people who have already taken a snapshot of their ballots and posted the photographic evidence on social media platforms. (Case in point: As of 3 p.m. on Tuesday, more than 600,000 photographs with the hashtag #vote had already been posted on Instagram. Among those were numerous images of marked ballots.)

Although many might want to capture Election Day the modern way, snapping that pic could be illegal -- or in almost all cases, highly frowned upon.

According to this list compiled by the Citizen Media Law Project, many states forbid the documentation of one's vote.

Florida, Georgia, Kentucky, Nevada, North Carolina, Texas and West Virginia, for example, have laws that "expressly prohibit all recording inside the polling place."

While in many other states, such as Arizona, California, Colorado, Illinois, New Jersey and New York, taking a photograph or filming a marked ballot is against the law.

(For the full list, click here)

The only places that don't seem to have any outright laws banning the practice are Delaware and Washington, D.C. As the Citizen Media Law Project notes, however, there may be other laws in place that limit or prohibit the documenting of ballots.

Mashable breaks it down:

Translation: It’s totally kosher to Instagram, record video, tweet, post to Facebook or play Angry Birds while you’re waiting to vote. But once you’re inside your polling place, it may be smart to put the phone away until you’re done voting.

When in doubt, consult your state's election board to find out more about recording laws.

Will you be snapping a picture of your ballot? What do you think of these laws? Tell us in the comments below.

For more, watch this 2008 video by the Citizen Media Law Project:

h/t: Gizmodo

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Filed by Dominique Mosbergen
 
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