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“Ballot selfies” case headed to federal appeals court

Voter Booths Photo
Wikimedia Commons
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Michigan is asking a federal appeals court to restore the state’s ban on people taking “selfies” with their ballots on Election Day.

A federal judge ruled earlier this week that Michigan’s “ballot selfies” ban violates First Amendment free speech rights.

Fred Woodhams is a spokesman for the state Bureau of Elections. He says the law that says no one can show their filled-out ballot to another person protects voters. “We believe the law ensures Michigan residents can cast a ballot free of outside influence.

The law has been in effect for more than 125 years and it has been effective in preventing vote buying and voter coercion.”

Woodhams also says it’s very late in the game to be changing the rules. The election is now less than two weeks away.

Challengers say voters have already been taking “ballot selfies” without knowing they’re violating the law – and without creating any problems.

I’m Rick Pluta at the state Capitol