Proposed law would make taking pictures of marked ballots legal in Ohio

In this Oct. 20, 2008, photo provided by Nikola Halycyone Jordan, Jordan poses with her election ballot in Omaha, Neb. (Mari Zaporowski/Courtesy of Nikola Halycyone Jordan via AP)

DAYTON, Ohio (WDTN) – Under Ohio law, it’s illegal to take pictures of a completed ballot. It’s a rule that differs from state to state and is getting some voters in trouble.

State Representative Niraj Antani, is looking to change that for the Buckeye state by introducing House Bill 609 on Tuesday.

“We think that it’s a first amendment right to show who you’re voting for on your own ballot and that should be legal,” Rep. Antani said, “Right now, county prosecutors are not prosecuting for this crime. So we really shouldn’t have laws on the books that aren’t being prosecuted. ”

The current law was made a long time ago to prohibit bribery, Antani said, so those paying for votes couldn’t get the photographic proof. According to him there’s already statutes in place for that.

Voters like Kurt Hamler support the new legislation.

“Everybody says who they’re voting for already so if they’re tweeting out a picture, a selfie and their ballot it’s not a big deal to me,” he said.

For Katie Ahrens of Dayton, she doesn’t think it’s necessary.

“You don’t need to be just tweeting or snapchatting a picture with your ballot,” she said. “I don’t see what that does for our society.”

Although it is technically illegal, Ohio Secretary of State, Jon Husted said he’s unaware of anyone being prosecuted for it.

“I think we have bigger things to worry about than selfies with ballots,” Secretary Husted said.

Currently the legislature is not in session.

Representative Antani said if the bill doesn’t get passed this year, it will have to be reintroduced next year. provides commenting to allow for constructive discussion on the stories we cover. In order to comment here, you acknowledge you have read and agreed to our Terms of Service. Commenters who violate these terms, including use of vulgar language or racial slurs, will be banned. Please be respectful of the opinions of others and keep the conversation on topic and civil. If you see an inappropriate comment, please flag it for our moderators to review.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s