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Reminder: That selfie you want to take in the voting booth could be illegal

Just ask Justin Timberlake.

Macy's Celebrates Trolls At Herald Square With Justin Timberlake And Anna Kendrick Bryan Bedder / Getty Images for Macy's
Peter Kafka covers media and technology, and their intersection, at Vox. Many of his stories can be found in his Kafka on Media newsletter, and he also hosts the Recode Media podcast.

You have a phone. And you use the internet. So there are decent odds that you want to take a picture of yourself voting on Tuesday.

Which is totally cool!

Just be aware that you may be breaking the law.

About half the states in the country have rules prohibiting ballot selfies or other acts involving cameras in voting booths. That includes New York, where a federal judge kept the selfie ban in place this week, and California, where ballot selfies will become legal in 2017 but are still banned for this election.

New Hampshire is fine with it, though. NBC has a handy chart that breaks this stuff down, state by state.

The history of selfie and ballot photo bans is pretty interesting — a lot of the rules have to do with attempts to prevent vote buying and voter intimidation.

But, as many people have argued — including Snapchat’s lawyers, in a friend of the court brief — there’s no evidence that those bans do any good. And there’s a common-sense argument that taking a picture of yourself voting is a good thing, and should be protected as free speech.

The good news is that there’s very little record of people being prosecuted for this stuff. If Justin Timberlake got away with it, you’re probably going to be okay, too.

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