This may sound familiar: a friend of yours posts a picture of her completed ballot, shot moments ago, inside a New York City voting booth. Was it legal to take that photo to begin with? In a surprising number of states, this simple act—one you’ve no doubt seen repeated on Instagram and Facebook dozens of times today—would’ve constituted a misdemeanor.
Seem ridiculous? Of course it is. But for many, many people, it’s the law. Here’s a guide to how legal it is to Instagram your vote no matter where you live.
According to the Citizen Media Law Project’sDocumenting the Vote 2012, the laws vary wildly from state to state. In New York—from which most of my friends’ photos have been posted—the § 17-130 law is unequivocal. “Any person who…makes or keeps any memorandum of anything occurring within the booth, or directly or indirectly, reveals to another the name of any candidate voted for by such voter; or shows his ballot after it is prepared for voting, to any person so as to reveal the contents…is guilty of a misdemeanor.” Ditto Florida, and the overwhelming majority of municipalities.
Delaware, though? You’re all good. Knock yourself out.
Here’s a complete list of what your state laws have to say about photos in the voting booth. See the thorough resource assembled by Citizen Media Law Project for much of the same info in handy chart form.
Click here to see a state by state list;