sticky zone 56764
Sponsored by


Note: This story is more than 5 years old.

Yes, Arizona, it's now legal to post your ballot on Facebook

While many states still prohibit sharing photos of your ballot — as Justin Timberlake just learned in Tennessee — it's been legal to fill out your early ballot and post photos of it on social media for a year in Arizona, thanks to a change in state law.

A bill passed by the Legislature in March 2015 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 update clarified that voters can indeed photograph their ballots and post them on Facebook. What's still barred is toting a camera into a polling place, so the ability to show the world how you've voted effectively only applies to early ballots.

Some bans on "ballot selfies" have recently been struck down by federal courts. In September, the 1st Circuit Court of Appeals ruled against a New Hampshire law that prohibited posting photos of filled-out ballots. A federal judge in Michigan recently blocked enforcement of such a law in that state. One law yet on the books in Tennessee was technically broken by pop star Justin Timberlake, who posted a picture of his ballot on Instagram. Officials there said they wouldn't seek to penalize Timberlake because of "limited resources."

One of 2015 Arizona bill's sponsors, Democratic state Sen. Steve Farley of Tucson, said last year that, "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 in Arizona for posting a snapshot of their ballot, but many politicians and activists posted and then deleted photos when the old law was pointed out to them. relies on contributions from our readers to support our reporting on Tucson's civic affairs. Donate to today!
If you're already supporting us, please encourage your friends, neighbors, colleagues and customers to help support quality local independent journalism.

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. "

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."

- 30 -
have your say   


There are no comments on this report. Sorry, comments are closed.

Sorry, we missed your input...

You must be logged in or register to comment

Read all of's
coronavirus reporting here »

Click image to enlarge

Mark Ulm/John C. Scott Show