If you have checked Instagram, Facebook or Twitter at all on Election Day, there is no question it’s easy to tell that people are pleased and excited about showing off the fact that they participated in one of the most fundamental civic duties—voting.
There have even been users on various social media sites encouraging those lined up at the polls to get out and show who they were voting for by taking a quick pic and posting it to be viewed by the public eye.
The problem is, in Massachusetts, it’s illegal to take a photo of your marked ballot. According to Massachusetts General Law:
Whoever… allows the marking of his ballot to be seen by any person for any purpose not authorized by law, or gives a false answer to or makes a false oath before a presiding officer, shall be punished by imprisonment for not more than six months or by a fine of not more than one hundred dollars.
A spokesperson from the office of the Secretary of the Commonwealth confirmed it was “not allowed,” on Tuesday.
According to reports, nearly 500,000 people nationwide have snapped some sort of photo of their ballot or Election Day-related items, using the hashtag #vote. Here in Boston, several hashtags were started on Twitter such as #showmeyourballot and #picsoritdidnthappen.
Even local elected officials here in the Hub got caught up in the excitement of filling in the bubbles on the ballot and sharing their vote with those in the Twitter-sphere.
Boston Phoenix writer David Bernstein found out the hard way on Election Day after he Tweeted a photo of a marked ballot, and then later reported that he got a call from the Office of the Secretary of the State of Massachusetts advising him that the action was breaking the rules.
Maybe the best way to show that you went out and cast your vote on Election Day, November 6, is to stick with snapping shots of that little “I Voted” sticker that some of the polling places have been handing out to constituents.
Below is a collection of ballots Tweeted by people from all around the country.