20 Aug 2014
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Election Officials: No Cameras In Polling Places

When you go to cast your ballot, resist the temptation to snap a photo for your social media accounts.

Election Officials: No Cameras In Polling Places Election Officials: No Cameras In Polling Places

UPDATE (11:24 p.m.) — Election officials are reminding voters that they are not to use electronic devices after a Parkville politico snapped a photo of his vote in favor of same-sex marriage this morning.

Cal Bowman, who ran for the Maryland House of Delegates in 2010, posted a photo of his ballot indicating his vote in favor of same sex marriage to his personal Facebook page Tuesday morning.

In an email statement to Patch, Bowman said that after posting the photo he was informed that doing so was illegal and removed the image.

"After posting the original image of my ballot, I was informed it was against the law to reproduce it in the manner in which I did. I apologize to anyone I have offended, and have removed the image," Bowman wrote.  "However, I am proud of the manner in which I voted, and subsequently choose an alternate form to display my support for Question 6. I urge all of our citizens to exercise their right to freedom of speech in the many forms it is legally allowable."

"FOR Question 6," Bowman's original Facebook post read.

Around 2 p.m., Bowman deleted his original post on the advice of legal counsel, according to his personal Facebook page. It its place he uploaded a photograph of a hand drawn copy of the ballot.

"Legal counsel has strongly advised me to remove my previous post regarding the ballot. I have complied," Bowman wrote.

Asked about the legality of using a camera phone in a polling place, state election officals responded that electronic devices, including cameraphones, were not to be used inside of polling places.

"Electronic devices may not be used in a polling place," said Katie Brown, elections director for the Baltimore County Board of Elections.

Brown also provided a link to the Division of State Documents page documenting the rule.

Throughout the day, articles have appeared on sites like Gizmodo and The Verge warning against using cameras in polling places. In some states, like Arizona, it's actually a crime, according to the Gizmodo article.

Do you know someone who has posted a photo of their ballot on a social media site? Tell us in the comments.

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