Judge denies request to allow ‘ballot selfies’

Daily News Article - November 4, 2016


1. On what grounds did the ACLU request a judge allow voters to take selfies in the voting booth?

2. For what reasons did the judge deny the request? (What issues did he say must be considered?) Be specific.

3. Democratic Governor Jerry Brown signed a law that repeals California’s ban on sharing photos of marked ballots, but it doesn’t take effect until January 1. What is the intent of the current law (which has been on the books for 125 years)?

4. How did ACLU attorney Michael Risher respond to the judge’s ruling?

5. For what purposes are voters in California currently permitted to use their smart phones on election day?

6. a) In how many states are there currently bans on sharing photos of voter ballots?
b) What do some other states prohibit?

7. Those opposed to bans on selfies (that is part of a 100+ year law) argue the following:

a) Do you think a ban on selfies taken with a voter’s completed ballot prohibit the voter’s free speech? Explain your answer.
b) Do you agree with Assemblyman Levine’s assertion that the ban is “unconstitutional”? Explain your answer.

8. Bans on photos of completed ballots do not prevent voters from telling everyone HOW they voted, just prevents them from proving it by taking a picture of their ballot. The purpose of the current law is to prevent voter intimidation or vote buying.
a) How might the new law allowing people to take a photo of their completed ballot enable someone to intimidate a voter into voting for a particular candidate?
b) How might the new law enable a voter to get paid to vote for a certain candidate?