Assembly panel advances bill allowing photos inside voting booths

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TRENTON -

A state Assembly panel advanced a bill Thursday which would allow voters to photograph their own ballots while in the voting booth and to share those photos on social media.

Current state law prohibits voters from showing their voted ballot in order to prevent vote-buying and coercion.

“This is a product of the times we live in,” said Assemblyman Raj Mukherji (D-Hudson).  “If voters want to express their pride in participating in our democracy by voting or tout their political preferences on social media, they should be entitled to do so.”

Mukherji says that since voter turnout is not as high as it should be, voters expressing their opinion online may encourage others to be civic-minded.

Several young voters told News 12 New Jersey that they approve of the proposed legislation.

“I think it’s a personal choice. If you want to keep it private, keep it private,” says Rutgers student Jared Janowsky. “Also you can take a selfie in a voting booth without showing who you voted for anyway. It’s just showing that you voted.”

Several states have passed new laws in recent years allowing voters to take photos of their ballots, arguing that it is a form of free speech.

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