Wanna take a selfie on election day?
Go ahead, says Attorney General Mark Herring.
In a formal opinion to the Isle of Wight County Electoral Board, Herring said posting your own vote to Facebook, Instagram, Twitter or another social media account does not violate the law as long as you don’t interfere with other voters.
The State Board of Elections issued new language this summer which made it easier for voters to use electronic devices in polling places. That prompted local officials to question Herring on state law.
Herring noted that state law prohibits using cell phones to communicate with people outside polling places–in other words, don’t call someone and ask who to vote for.
But Herring’s opinion states the Code of Virginia is “silent, however, as to the use of such devices by individual voters at polling places.”
Local election officials still have the discretion to stop people from taking photos or videos if it “hinders, delays or disrupts the voting process”, according to Herring’s opinion.
Long lines and a long ballot are expected to make election day a challenge for local election officials. In addition to the presidential race, voters will decide Congressional elections, two constitutional amendments and local issues, including light rail in Virginia Beach.
The General Assembly is likely to clarify state law regarding “selfies” in next year’s session. But for now, look forward to November 9 when you can say “I guess I took a good selfie.”
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