Why taking a picture of your ballot is a bad idea - KMSP-TV

Why taking a picture of your ballot is a bad idea

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    Minnesota voters are weighing in on dozens of races, including ballot initiatives about gay marriage and voter ID, the presidential race, representatives for Congress and the U.S. Senate.
    Minnesota voters are weighing in on dozens of races, including ballot initiatives about gay marriage and voter ID, the presidential race, representatives for Congress and the U.S. Senate.
ST. PAUL, Minn. (KMSP) -

Thinking of taking a photo of your ballot, then posting it to Facebook or Twitter? Think again.

While there is no state or federal law that strictly prohibits the use of cameras or other video equipment in the polling place to record an individual's own voting experience, Sections 204C.17 of the Minnesota Statutes prohibit voters from showing their marked ballot to others in the polling place.

"If a voter, after marking a ballot, shows it to anyone except as authorized by law, the election judges shall refuse to deposit the ballot in any ballot box and shall place it among the spoiled ballots," the law reads.

Taking photographs or video of your own marked ballot could violate this prohibition if you show it to someone before leaving. 

Patricia Turgeon, assistant communications director for the office of the Minnesota Secretary of State, "strongly discourages" voters from using cameras or video recorders in the polling place.

"Voters have a right to privacy -- both as to how an individual has voted as well as whether or not an individual has voted," she said in a statement. "Either or both of these could be compromised by pictures or video. In addition, other voters' objections to being photographed could lead to disruptions within the polling place."

Minnesota is expecting record voter turnout in 2012, which means there may be lines and polling places may be crowded. Voters have a right to take the time they need to vote, but should not take extra time to take pictures, officials say.

SEND US YOUR 'I VOTED' PHOTOS

While you shouldn't take pictures of your ballot, we want to see you with your "I voted" sticker to share in the Election Day spirit!

Send your "I voted" photos to PHOTOS@FOXTV.COM or upload a photo at uploads.myfoxtwincities.com

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