You Voted! Good for you. Really, I believe you and I'm proud of you. You don't need to prove it to me on social media.

In case you've been living under a rock, early voting is underway in Iowa and other states, ahead of the November 8 "midterm" elections. An election is an important exercise in making our voices heard in the direction of our country. To some people, it also means a photo-op, for visual proof. It means people feel the need to display the completion of their sacred right and obligation to vote, by posting a "selfie" of it on social media.

You got a sticker, yay you.

Photo by Manny Becerra on Unsplash
Photo by Manny Becerra on Unsplash

More importantly, what about showing your actual ballot in the selfie? Is a ballot selfie in Iowa even legal? They call it a "secret ballot" for a reason, right?

Actually, yes and no. Law states that "Iowa prohibits photos to be taken that reveal ballot information, potentially interfering with the integrity of elections, however, there are no specific laws against taking photos with mail-in ballots."

USA Today says there are ten states where "ballot selfies" are expressly illegal.

  • Georgia
  • Illinois
  • Massachusetts
  • Missouri
  • Nevada
  • New Jersey
  • New York
  • North Carolina
  • Ohio
  • South Carolina

In all the others, it's either fully legal with no restrictions, or with a caveat, like in Iowa.

Photo by Element5 Digital on Unsplash
Photo by Element5 Digital on Unsplash

So I guess, go ahead and post a selfie with only some indiscriminate part of the ballot visible, or outside the polling place with your sticker (I might be bitter about that part because I've never gotten one) just to show that you showed up to perform your civic duty. But why would you want to? Again, it's a sacred exercise and if you think I don't believe you did it, I swear, I believe you!

We do deserve to reward ourselves for surviving and contributing to the end game of all these months, which now seems more like years-long barrage of political campaign ads. But I'm not displaying my contribution to the world on this one. You'll just have to trust me, as I do you. Thanks.

Photo by Phillip Goldsberry on Unsplash
Photo by Phillip Goldsberry on Unsplash
*This article is what happens when I can't sleep. For a thorough investigation of ballot secrecy, I checked here.
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