Thanks to social media, an every-two-years question is surfacing: Can I take a picture of my ballot?
Yes. Sort of.
Under Minnesota law — or, more accurately, the lack of it — you can take a picture of your ballot, but you can’t show it to anyone at the polling place and you can’t include anyone else in the picture.
According to the Center for Citizen Media:
Minnesota election law does not address the issue of taking photographs or videorecordings in or near polling places by individuals who are not news media.The following provision concerns access for news media:
“A news media representative may enter a polling place during voting hours only to observe the voting process. A media representative must present photo identification to the head election judge upon arrival at the polling place, along with either a recognized media credential or written statement from a local election official attesting to the media representative’s credentials. A media representative must not: (1) approach within six feet of a voter; (2) converse with a voter while in the polling place; (3) make a list of persons voting or not voting; or (4) interfere with the voting process.
Minn. Stat. 204C.06 Subd. 8.The following provision applies to the conduct of voters in and near polling places:
“An individual shall be allowed to go to and from the polling place for the purpose of voting without unlawful interference. No one except an election official or an individual who is waiting to register or to vote shall stand within 100 feet of the entrance to a polling place. The entrance to a polling place is the doorway or point of entry leading into the room or area where voting is occurring.” (Minn. Stat. 204C.06 subd. 1).Furthermore, “an individual may remain inside the polling place during voting hours only while voting or registering to vote, providing proof of residence for an individual who is registering to vote, or assisting a handicapped voter or a voter who is unable to read English. During voting hours no one except individuals receiving, marking, or depositing ballots shall approach within six feet of a voting booth, unless lawfully authorized to do so by an election judge.” (Minn. Stat. 204C.06 subd. 2).
Since taking photos or videorecording is not one of the enumerated activities for which “an individual may remain inside the polling place,” such activities may well be prohibited by this statute.
Minnesota election law does not address the issue of taking photographs or videorecordings in or near polling places.
The Minnesota Secretary of State’s office “strongly discourages” the practice. But that’s different from saying you can’t do it.