Federal Appeals Court: Ballot Selfies Are Constitutional

NBC News reports:

A federal appeals court on Wednesday said New Hampshire’s ban on voting booth selfies “is like burning down the house to roast the pig.” In a unanimous vote, a three-judge panel of the First Circuit Court of Appeals in Boston upheld a lower court ruling that declared the state’s ban unconstitutional. It was the first time a federal appeals court considered the issue. A 2014 New Hampshire law criminalized voters snapping photos of their ballots and sharing them on social media. Such actions were punishable by a fine of up to $1,000. A federal judge blocked the law’s enforcement a year ago and the state appealed citing a need to discourage vote buying.

“Voting is an act of extraordinary importance,” William Christie, a co-counsel on the case said in a statement issued later by the ACLU of New Hampshire. “And it is because of this importance that the First Amendment also ensures that citizens are free to communicate their experiences at the polls, including the people for whom they voted if they so wish. As the Court recognized, there is no more potent way to communicate one’s support for a candidate than to voluntarily display a photograph of one’s marked ballot depicting one’s vote for that candidate.”