SALT LAKE CITY — Feel free to Snapchat, Instagram, Facebook or tweet that ballot, because, “YOLO!”
Unlike many other states, taking a selfie with your ballot is not a crime in Utah. At least, not anymore.
In 2015, Rep. John Knotwell, R-Herriman, sponsored a bill that removed the criminal penalty for photographing your ballot, clearing the way for “ballot selfies” in Utah. The Utah State Legislature unanimously passed it and the bill was signed into law by Governor Gary Herbert later that year.
However, it remains a crime to photograph someone else’s ballot. It’s a class C misdemeanor which carries the potential for a fine or jail time (where you definitely can’t take a selfie).
Ballot selfies have been the subject of litigation in many states, where lawsuits have been leveled arguing that bans violate political speech rights. Right now, they’re the subject of a legal fight between the ACLU and the state of California. That state is ending its ban on ballot selfies, but not until next year. The ACLU took the state to court to force ballot selfies to be allowed, but a federal judge has denied the civil liberties group’s request.
So feel free to photograph yourself in the ballot booth (we recommend Valencia or Lo-Fi filter) or use that cute dog Snapchat filter while filling out your mail-in ballot. It’s your right under Utah State law.
But you do have a time limit: Utah law only allows you 10 minutes to vote in a ballot booth, five minutes if there’s a line.