Voter ‘selfies’ ruled OK

Published 12:10 pm Wednesday, October 12, 2016

By Diana McFarland

Managing editor

Those inclined to take “selfies” at every opportunity can now do so after voting for president this year.

Isle of Wight County Electoral Board Secretary William Bell, along with his counterpart in Goochland County, challenged a State Board of Elections rule allowing cell phones in the polling place. They asked for an attorney general’s opinion on the issue. {mprestriction ids=”1,2,3,4,5,6″}

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Virginia Attorney General Mark Herring, in the opinion sought by Bell and Goochland Electoral Board Secretary Robin Lind, said that use of cellphones, such as snapping a “selfie” after voting, was not against the law. 

What is not permitted is using a cell phone or recording device to communicate with people outside the polling place for assistance in voting.

If any activity impedes on the voting process or causes confusion, the chief of each precinct can ask an individual to stop.

Bell said he challenged the law because the presidential election is expected to draw a large crowd of voters and “I want a smooth operation.”

“It adds a big level of confusion with everyone doing “selfies” of themselves with their ballot,” Bell said.

“This is the first step to selling your vote,” he said.

Bell added that there is “pretty good evidence that students are getting extra credit for proving they voted.” He feels that’s wrong.  {/mprestriction}