NEW YORK — For many of us – it’s become a way of life. Inhale. exhale, take a selfie.
An estimated 1 million selfies are taken every day across the world and when Americans head to the polls on Election Day, the temptation to capture the moment will be overwhelming.
However in 18 states, it’s technically against the law to snap that money shot.
“Ballot secrecy has been around for whatever the difference is between 2016 and the 1850s all to make it more difficult for someone’s vote to be purchased,” explained criminal defense attorney Randy Zelin.
But times have changed, leading many states to drop their bans that prohibited voters to show or share their ballot with others.
However if you’re voting in New York or New Jersey this Nov. 8, that law is still very much in effect.
While there is no recent record of it happening, offenders can face fines and in some cases even jail time.
“What happens is these old, archaic laws that are still on the books,” Zelin told PIX11 News. “I mean once upon a time we got around using a buggy whip.”
“We don’t have them anymore but I guarantee you there’s a law that lists the hours when you can make a buggy whip and you can’t make it on a Sunday.”
The photo ban may be archaic but it didn’t stop Denver’s District Attorney from issuing a warning this week to several early voters who shared selfies of their completed mailing ballots on social media.
No such warning has yet to be issued in our area but according to Zelin, the last thing you want to do is start a fire.
“You don’t want to give someone a reason to have a leg to stand on to be able to say – wait a second this vote is no good and the reason why its not good is because the law was violated.”
In New Jersey, Assemblyman Raj Mukherji is currently sponsoring a bill that would make taking selfies in the ballot box legal in the Garden State.
According to the Assemblyman, “its a great way for people to show pride in taking part in democracy.”
The legislation itself is still pending.