RALEIGH, N.C. (WNCN) – One-stop early voting is underway in North Carolina and if you plan to vote and want to show your pride, do it with the sticker on your shirt and not the camera on your phone.
The North Carolina State Board of Elections & Ethics Enforcement sent a news release Friday reminding voters that the selfie you want to take in the voting booth is actually illegal. You can’t take a picture of your filled out ballot, either.
Voters are allowed to have their phones with them while voting, but that’s only as long as you don’t use it to photograph a ballot or communicate with someone else via text, email, voice or any other method, according to state law.
State officials sent the release, saying “Voters, especially younger or first-time voters, may not know that it is illegal to photograph their ballot or that they are not permitted to communicate using an electronic device while in the act of voting.”
“We understand the desire to photograph yourself voting, especially in the age of selfies,” said Kim Westbrook Strach, executive director of the State Board of Elections & Ethics Enforcement. “However, there are legal ways to show your voting pride, such as wearing your ‘I Voted’ sticker.”
According to officials, “Photographing a marked ballot is illegal in part because such photographs could be used as proof of a vote for a particular candidate in a vote-buying scheme.”
Electronic communication is prohibited because it could disrupt voters or limit voter assistance.
As a reminder, you’re allowed to bring voting guides, notes and other related items into the voting booth with you. You can actually use your phone to access candidate or slate information — you just can’t use it for pictures or communication.