RALEIGH, N.C. – The State Board of Elections & Ethics Enforcement is reminding voters that North Carolina law prohibits taking photographs of voted ballots. N.C.G.S. § 163A-1133(c).
Voters are allowed to have phones or electronic devices with them while voting as long as those devices are not used to photograph a ballot or communicate with anyone via voice, text, email or any other method. Voters, especially younger or first-time voters, may not know that it is illegal to photograph their ballot or that they are not permitted to communicate using an electronic device while in the act of voting. “We understand the desire to photograph yourself voting, especially in the age of selfies,” said Kim Westbrook Strach, executive director of the State Board of Elections & Ethics Enforcement. “However, there are legal ways to show your voting pride, such as wearing your ‘I Voted’ sticker.”
Photographing a marked ballot is illegal in part because such photographs could be used as proof of a vote for a particular candidate in a vote-buying scheme. Electronic communication while voting is prohibited because of limits on voter assistance and to prevent disruptions in the voting enclosure.
Voters may bring voting guides, notes and other materials into the voting booth. They also may use electronic devices to access a slate card or candidate information, provided that they don’t use devices to communicate with anyone.