Is It Legal To Take a “Ballot Selfie” in Iowa?

You Voted! Good for you. Really, I believe you and I’m proud of you. You don’t need to prove it to me on social media. Keep your selfies to yourself, especially the ones with the actual ballot in hand.

In case you’ve been living under a rock, early voting is underway in Iowa and other states, ahead of the November 8 “midterm” elections. An election is an important exercise in making our voices heard in the direction of our country. To some people, it also seems to require visual proof. It means people feel the need to display the completion of their God-given right and obligation to vote, by posting a “selfie” on social media.

You got a sticker, yay you.

More importantly, what about showing your actual ballot in the selfie? Thankfully, I’ve seen less of this, but I had to know: is a ballot selfie in Iowa even legal? They call it a “secret ballot” for a reason, right?

Actually, yes and no. Law states that “Iowa prohibits photos to be taken that reveal ballot information, potentially interfering with the integrity of elections, however, there are no specific laws against taking photos with mail-in ballots.”

As of 2020, USA Today says there were only six states making “ballot selfies” expressly illegal. In all the rest, it’s either fully legal with no restrictions, or with a caveat, like in Iowa.

So I guess, go ahead and post a selfie with only some indiscriminate part of the ballot visible or just to show that you showed up to perform your duty, but why would you want to? Again, I believe you.

We deserve to reward ourselves for surviving and contributing to the end game of all these months, which now seems more like years-long barrage of political campaign ads. But I’m not displaying my contribution to the world on this one. You’ll just have to trust me, as I do you. Thanks.

*This is what happens when I can’t sleep. For a thorough investigation of ballot secrecy, I checked here.

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