November 6, 2012
It’s Election Day here in the USA, and lots of folks are upset about lots of issues. Many have decided they will spout off by posting photos of themselves voting, or protesting, or just generally upset about things. Sometimes, that’s good, other times, it is VERY bad.
Don’t post photos about your Voter ID opinions – especially if that opinion photo includes your ID.
It should go without saying, but posting photos of your ID is a truly bad idea. Never post photos of your passport, your driver’s license or any other identification documents. They can be used to glean information about you that you would probably rather not let people have.
Feel free to write about your experience. Blog about it, check in on Foursquare from your polling place, but don’t post photos of your ID. Ever.
Don’t post photos of your ballot.
Not only does it defeat the premise of a secret ballot if you go and post it online, but in several states (like New York) it’s actually illegal. Specifically, posting photos of a “ballot that has been prepared for voting” is a no-no in many places around the US.
Discuss the candidates, give your opinion, even tweet who you voted for if you really want to; but don’t photograph your ballot.
Do not take photos in your polling place.
While it may not be illegal to do so (though it may very well be in your city), it’s a very bad idea to take pictures while you are around or in your polling place. The reason is simple, there are about 100 other people in the room besides you, and many would not want their photo taken. Unless you get permission from everyone in the room (unlikely) and get it in writing (nearly impossible), you should not be taking photos.
Again, check in at your polling place (without a photo) and take pictures outside of the “No Electioneering” posted signs. That should be far enough away that it’s public space and outside the realm of personal voting space.
Play it smart today. Go and vote, exercise your rights and responsibilities every year and elect those who will represent you. Just don’t share photos of it on Facebook, Twitter, etc.
Use your words instead, they are just as powerful and much less likely to get your identity stolen or get you in trouble with the law – at least until you vote someone in who will change them.