Another 50-State survey: Documenting the Vote

November 7, 2012

At my polling place yesterday, I overheard a voter distressed by the fact he wouldn’t be getting a copy (a ‘receipt’) of  his vote.  No one had a ready explanation for why this is so.  As it turns out, displaying your ballot is regulated in many states. The Citizen Media Law Project (CMLP) website explains:

In order to protect voters from interference and intimidation, state governments have enacted a complex array of election laws that regulate what activities are permitted at polling places on Election Day. These laws can affect your ability to shoot video or take photographs at a polling place, even if your purpose is just to document your own voting experience.

Yesterday, we referred you to Citizens for Election Integrity‘s searchable database.  Today (better late than never, I suppose), we encourage you to check out CMLP’s 50-state survey of state laws regulating recording/photographing inside polling places. The site notes that this table is a work in progress and welcomes feedback.  So, try the following search in your state (or, all states) statutory collections:

adv: SD(photo! camera video divulg! display exhibit! show! /s vote ballot)

The query delivers the relevant documents for my polling place, Wi Stat 12.13(1)(f) which is referenced in the CMLP chart.  Simple plain language searches also had good results for many jurisdictions:

photographs inside polling place