The California legislature has passed a bill that will allow voters to take “ballot selfies” in the voting booth, once Governor Jerry Brown signs it into law.
Since the advent of smartphones, voters have been taking photographs of their ballots and posting them on social media sites, basking in praise from the like-minded. However, the practice has been illegal until now in California — though the Sacramento Bee notes that no one has ever been prosecuted for taking or posting ballot selfies.
The legislative counsel’s digest of Assembly Bill 1494, introduced by Marc Levine (D-Greenbrae), notes:
Existing law prohibits a voter from showing his or her ballot to any person after it is marked in such a way as to reveal its contents. Existing law provides that a person who interferes or attempts to interfere with the secrecy of voting is guilty of a felony, and authorizes the Secretary of State, the Attorney General, or a local elections official to bring an action to impose additional civil penalties for committing those acts.
This bill would create an exception to that prohibition that would permit a voter to voluntarily disclose how he or she voted if that voluntary act does not violate any other law.
Conservatives opposed to Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump delighted in posting ballot selfies during the primary season.
Earlier this month, Breitbart News noted:
There is a repeated theme in the arguments made by “NeverTrump,” those Republicans who have sworn not to vote for the party’s nominee … That theme is: “I, me, mine.”
Read closely what other NeverTrump voices are writing, and you will note a similar self-obsession. “I cannot see myself voting for Trump” is one common refrain. That phrase, “see myself,” implies gazing inward into the voting booth from an imaginary vantage point, focused inward.Viewed from that perspective, voting is not a mundane civic responsibility, but rather the dramatic climax of a grand coming-of-age melodrama, starring “me.” It is politics from the perspective of the ballot selfie.
The new California law will enable them to do so without any fear of prosecution, and to do so in a safely “blue” state, where such posturing has no direct effect on the outcome of the election.
Joel B. Pollak is Senior Editor-at-Large at Breitbart News. His new book, See No Evil: 19 Hard Truths the Left Can’t Handle, is available from Regnery through Amazon. Follow him on Twitter at @joelpollak.