Wisconsin voters could take selfies with ballot under bill

Published: May. 7, 2019 at 10:04 AM CDT
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Wisconsin voters could legally take selfies with their marked election ballot under a proposal in the state Legislature.

The Senate elections committee held a hearing Tuesday on the measure that would make it legal for voters to show their marked ballot. Wisconsin is one of 18 states that has a law barring the showing of a completed ballot, but it is rarely enforced.

"Showing something else your marked ballot is technically against the law. Again, we don't know if anyone who has been charged for doing that or prosecuted for doing that, but technically it is against the law," said the public information officer for the Wisconsin Elections Commission, Reid Magney.

Magney said right now, it is against the law to show your marked ballot to someone.

"If that provision is removed, you could show your ballot to someone, but you could also take a picture of it, post it on Instagram, Facebook," he said.

Bill sponsor Republican Sen. Dave Craig says showing a marked ballot is a free speech right. Craig says the ban is archaic in the age of social media, where voters are increasingly posting selfies with their completed ballots.

But two local election clerks testified against the measure, saying it could have unintended consequences like making it easier for employers or others to force people to show how they voted.

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