Be Careful Using Social Media To Prove You Voted
BOSTON (CBS) – You don’t need a calendar to know Tuesday is Election Day. For most, all you needed to do was sign on to your social media accounts.
Soon after the polls opened at 7 a.m. in Massachusetts, Twitter came alive with hashtags such as ‘#showmeyourballot‘ and ‘#picsoritdidn’thappen.”
The hashtags encouraged Twitter followers to snap a photo of their ballots in the booth and post the photos on Twitter.
Live Campaign Coverage: WBZ Reporters’ Tweets
But that’s illegal, according to Massachusetts General Laws.
Taking a photo of a marked ballot is actually punishable by jail.
The law says:
“Whoever, at a primary, caucus or election, places any distinguishing mark upon his ballot, or makes a false statement as to his ability to mark his ballot, or allows the marking of his ballot to be seen by any person for any purpose not authorized by law, or gives a false answer to or makes a false oath before a presiding officer, shall be punished by imprisonment for not more than six months or by a fine of not more than one hundred dollars.”
Secretary of State Bill Galvin told WBZ NewsRadio 1030 that it is illegal but his office has better things to do on Election Day.
“I would analogize it to children in kindergarten comparing each other’s underwear,” Galvin said of the social media photos.
Galvin said he is aware voters are trying to advocate for their preferred candidate but voters also have the right to a private ballot.
“In general, the right to a private ballot is very important,” Galvin said. “Things that deter from that, I would personally think are not good.”
Gallery: Election Day Photos
In addition to ballot photos on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram feeds Tuesday morning, others used social media to snap photos of ‘I Voted’ stickers or long lines as they waited to cast their ballots.
Among the topics trending on Twitter Tuesday morning were: Election 2012, Election Day, I Voted and America as well as I’m Sick Of – which included rants about people using social media to promote their opinions.