MIAMI COUNTY — Pop music superstar Justin Timberlake is used to being in the spotlight, but this past week he has been under public scrutiny for posting a selfie on Instagram while participating in the early election polls.
According to reports, in Tennessee, it’s illegal to take photo or video at polling stations for “informational purposes to assist the vote in making election decisions.” The law was signed last year by the Tennessee governor.
Despite his efforts to promote early voting, Timberlake could have been fined $50 and/or 30 days in jail if the state wished to pursue charges.
In Ohio, voters may take “selfies” at the polls, yet be sure you don’t capture or include ballot information in the photo before posting it to social media.
On Tuesday, the Ohio House of Representatives proposed to amend the Ohio Revised Code voting regulations to “allow electors to photograph and make public the elector’s own marked ballot.”
Miami County Board of Elections director Bev Kendall said early voting turnout isn’t higher than normal, although absentee ballot voting seemed to be a popular option this year.
Kendall said voters who would like to document themselves participating at the polls should make sure their ballot screen is clear of candidate or issue information before snapping a picture.
Kendall also said voters should refrain from wearing candidate or issue logos, pins or clothing while at the polls.
The Ohio Revised Code considers the wearing of logos, campaign support on t-shirts, or pins on your person as “election campaigning.” According to the Ohio Revised Code, no person shall “solicit or in any manner attempt to influence any elector in casting the elector’s vote” at the polling center.
For example, if a voter wears a “Clinton/Kaine” or “Trump/Pence” t-shirt while waiting to cast their ballot, they may be asked to cover the clothing with a coat or turn the clothing inside out before casting their ballot.
According to the Ohio Revised Code, no person shall “loiter, congregate, or engage in any kind of election campaigning within the area between the polling place and the small flags of the United States placed on the thoroughfares and walkways leading to the polling place, and if the line of electors waiting to vote extends beyond those small flags, within 10 feet of any elector in that line.”
Before you can cast a vote, be sure to bring a photo ID or utility bill for voting verification:
- A current and valid photo identification (i.e. Ohio driver’s license, state ID card, government ID). Photo identification must show name and address (does not need to be current address for driver’s license or state ID card); or
- A military identification that shows the voter’s name. (does not need to show address); or
- A copy of a current utility bill (including cell phone bill), bank statement, paycheck, government check, or other government document that shows the voter’s name and current address (including from a public college or university).
Polls will be open from 6:30 a.m. through 7:30 p.m. on Election Day. To verify your voting location, visit www.voterfind.com/miamioh/pollfinder.aspx#
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