Michigan Will Allow “Ballot Selfies”


Joel Crookston and Michigan Secretary of State Jocelyn Benson submitted a stipulated order to dismiss to Judge Janet T. Neff of the United States District Court for the Western District of Michigan today, asking her to recognize settlement in a lawsuit brought by Crookston that challenged state prohibitions on photographing and displaying one’s own marked ballot outside of polling places, including on social media.

“Michigan voters will be free to photograph their own marked ballots at the polls in future elections,” said Stephen Klein, of counsel to the Pillar of Law Institute and lead counsel for Crookston. “It’s a big win for a simple act of free speech, voting integrity, and common sense.”

Under the terms of the settlement, Secretary Benson agrees that Michigan law does not prohibit a voter from displaying a marked ballot as long as it is outside of a polling place and the 100-foot “buffer zone” around a polling place. By the next election in August, Secretary Benson will revise Michigan’s polling place instructions to specifically guide voters as to how to photograph their own ballots in voting stations. Crookston withdrew his other challenges to the polling place photography ban and ballot exposure laws.

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