This morning, Eric Trump — son of Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump — posted a photograph of his marked ballot on Twitter:
In doing so, Trump broke New York state law: It is illegal to take a picture in a polling station, as well as to share a completed ballot with other potential voters.
But ballot "selfies" aren't illegal everywhere.
As we recently wrote, the legality of taking a photo with, or of, your marked ballot varies by state. In 21 US states (and Washington, DC), it is perfectly legal to take a photo with a ballot. In 16 other states, it is explicitly illegal, and can earn you a fine or even jail time:
Many state laws are somewhat ambiguous: They may allow photos of mail-in ballots only, but disallow any photography in a polling place, for safety reasons.
In Trump’s case though, New York is pretty clear on the matter: “Those taking ballot selfies inside a polling place may inadvertently capture the ballots of other voters who did not wish to have their ballots publicized,” Manhattan Federal Judge P. Kevin Castel ruled last Thursday.
If you want to ensure that you’re following the law this Election Day, you can refer to our more comprehensive ballot selfie legality guide, which breaks down laws state by state.
Don’t be like Trump: Follow the law!