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ACLU of Indiana wins ‘ballot selfie’ law challenge

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A federal judge has ruled an Indiana law banning voters from taking a “selfie” photo with their ballot as unconstitutional.

The ACLU of Indiana challenged the law that makes it a felony for someone to photograph their ballot at the polls and/or to share that photo on social media.

In her decision, Judge Sarah Evans Barker stated that the law violates the First Amendment of the U.S. Constitution and "...embodies a content-based restriction on speech that cannot survive strict scrutiny because it neither serves compelling state interests nor is narrowly tailored to achieve those interests."

The ACLU of Indiana filed the lawsuit on Aug. 27, on behalf of its members who wish to take and share pictures of their ballots.

"Taking a picture of one's ballot and sharing it with family and friends is an expression of pride and enthusiasm about voting, and is a form of political speech that must be protected," said ACLU of Indiana legal director Ken Falk. "We are happy that the First Amendment rights of all voters have been protected by the Court's decision."

The law took effect July 1, however Judge Barker’s decision prevents enforcement of the law in the upcoming municipal elections Nov. 3. 

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