Ballot Selfies Could Be Allowed Under a Bill in Illinois

Mar 30, 2017

Some voters last fall found out Illinois makes it illegal to take a selfie with your ballot. State lawmakers are looking to change that.

Yesterday’s “I voted” sticker is today’s ballot selfie. As legislators were approving a bill that would make it legal to photograph one’s own ballot, the Capitol was filling with young people -- Future Farmers of America -- there to lobby for more state money for agriculture.

I thought, wait a minute -- young people, selfies …

“TOM: Are you guys big selfie people?.

STUDENTS: ...I’m not...Amanda!...I know, I am.”

Amanda Sunley is a sophomore at New Berlin High School. She says she probably wouldn’t take a selfie at the voting booth.

“I just think it’s like your own business like when you’re voting, and you shouldn’t take pictures and talk about it as soon as you vote.”

But under current law, less humble Illinois voters could be charged with a felony. It’s meant to prevent vote-buying schemes.

While the legislation would legalize ballot selfies, vote buying would remain illegal.


Meanwhile, new legislation in Illinois would allow 16- and 17-year-olds to pre-register to vote.

Erin Lakamp is a junior at New Berlin High School. She says the proposal makes sense.

“Yeah I think it’s a good idea, especially if they bring it into schools. Kids can get it over with and done with. Especially those kids whose parents don’t really push them to vote, or don’t really know how to do that because they don’t get outside help, it’ll be really easy through the school to do it.”

The legislation has support from Democrats and the Cook County’s top election official. But officials elsewhere worry it could cause logistical headaches … since many 18-year-olds move away after high school.