Ohio voters don’t need to worry about sharing a photo of their vote

Photos of a filled-in bubble next to “Mitt Romney and Paul Ryan” or “Barack Obama and Joe Biden” flooded Instagram, Twitter and Facebook this Election Day. Some Internet commenters were quick to dash below such posts warning things like, “Delete this or your vote will be invalidated!”

For Ohio voters, these were just rumors.

“How could we do that? There’s no way we could do that,” said the Portage County Board of Elections clerk. Once the vote is entered on the ballot, it is either sent to the digital file or dropped in the box — the vote is then valid.

It’s not against the law in Ohio.

The only Ohio law regarding disclosure of personal vote is Ohio Revised Code 3501.35A4, which says, “During an election and the counting of the ballots, no person shall exhibit any ticket or ballot which the electors intends to cast.”

This means Ohio voters may post photos of their completed ballots, but only after those ballots have been submitted, not before.

In Ohio, state department press secretary Matt McClellan said they’re not going to take the time to prosecute voters who post pictures of their ballots from the voting booth, though. And if Ohio voters post the photo after they have submitted their ballot, they are well within their rights.

If a poll worker notices you snapping a picture, they might warn you that you

shouldn’t be doing it. But they can’t invalidate your ballot.

However, in other states, taking a photograph in the election booth actually

does invalidate the vote. In some states like Wisconson, it’s a Class 1 Felony. But

prosecutors aren’t likely to press charges, according to an article by the Wisconsin State Journal, because many voters don’t know the law.

Contact Kelsey Misbrener at [email protected], Brittany Hill at [email protected] and Maura Zurick at [email protected].