Arizona: It's no longer illegal to post your ballot on Facebook
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Arizona: It's no longer illegal to post your ballot on Facebook

Arizona voters who fill out their early ballots and post photos of them on social media are no longer risking jail time, thanks to a change in state law.

A bill passed by the Legislature in March cleared up the issue — previously, voters were barred from revealing the contents of their ballots to anyone.

The intent of that law was to keep voters from being pressured by outside groups to confirm that they had voted for a candidate.

But the recent update clarified that voters can indeed photograph their ballots and post them on Facebook.

One of the bill's sponsors, Democratic state Sen. Steve Farley of Tucson, said "It just seemed like a common-sense First Amendment issue."

"If people want to express their opinion on who to vote for, they shouldn't be punished for it," he said. Farley joined a bipartisan group in backing the measure.

It's not evident that anyone was ever prosecuted for posting a snapshot of their ballot, but many politicians and activists posted and then deleted photos when the law was pointed out to them.

Before SB 1287, it was a class 2 misdemeanor to show "the voter's ballot or the machine on which the voter has voted to any person after it is prepared for voting in such a manner as to reveal the contents, except to an authorized person lawfully assisting the voter. "

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The law now reads, "A person who commits any of the following acts is guilty of a class 2 misdemeanor:" ... "4. Shows another voter's ballot or the machine on which another voter has voted to any person after it is prepared for voting in such a manner as to reveal the contents, except to an authorized person lawfully assisting the voter. A voter who makes available an image of the voter's own ballot by posting on the internet or in some other electronic medium is deemed to have consented to retransmittal of that image and that retransmittal does not constitute a violation of this section."

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