Posting ballot pictures online illgeal

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Updated: 11/06/2012 9:05 pm Published: 11/06/2012 8:11 pm

Voters were proving to the world they voted and how they voted by posting pictures of their already-filled-out ballot on social media websites.

In Oklahoma, it is illegal to share how you voted while you are within the election enclosure.  The Oklahoma state statute states, “No person shall, within the election enclosure, disclose to any other person how he voted; nor shall any person expose his ballot to any other person. Testimony as to how any individual cast his ballot, whether or not said ballot was lawfully cast, shall not be admissible as evidence in any court of law or public hearing in this state.”

If an election precinct official were to report someone snapping a picture of his or her ballot and report that person to the election board, the board would turn it over the Tulsa County District Attorney’s office. 

The assistant to the DA , John David Luton said the key words in the law are “within the election enclosure.”  That means the DA would have to prove the voter posted that picture while he was in the election area.  He also said he believes the law has to do with “electioneering.”  He explained electioneering is when people are influencing people on how to vote within the election area; and that can be up to 150 feet away from the polling place, according to the Tulsa County Election Board. 

“It shows I am out there and doing what I say I am going to do,” said Rick Rutledge.  Rutledge posted a picture of his marked ballot on Facebook. “It’s not about the sticker and showing it off; I am putting my money where my mouth is.”

Tulsa County Election Board’s Shelly Boggs said she was not surprised to see voters posting it but she is worried they might have to pay the consequences. 

“They are certainly taking a chance that I wouldn’t want to take,” said Boggs.  “I don’t know if anybody is going to do anything about it but I promise you if anyone were to complain and say it was happening at a particular polling place we would turn it over to the district attorney.”

“If they want to come and find me and prosecute me for posting my ballot, which is my opinion, which is a conversation with people who ask anyway, then feel free,” said Rutledge. 

If someone is caught influencing another voter within the election enclosure, the fine is up to $10,000 and or one year in jail. 

Some states have a more defined law about taking recording devices into the election areas. 

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