Sean Hannity Tweets Ballot Illegally, While Other Instagram Users Break Election Law
The conservative Fox News host sent followers a picture of his ballot, which is a misdemeanor in New York. He later addressed the issue on his radio show.
Forget the "I voted" sticker that has so long been a staple of election day; the latest status symbol for engaged citizenry is posting a photo of your ballot on Twitter and Instagram.
Unfortunately, it's also illegal to do in some states -- including New York, which is from where Fox News host Sean Hannity sent a picture of his Romney-Ryan-marked ballot. It's a misdemeanor in the state to show one's prepared ballot, or ask to see someone else's, meaning that the tweet broke the law -- though it would require the Secretary of State to prosecute -- something that is quite unlikely to happen. And beside, Hannity has already deleted the photo (though it lives here in perpetuity).
It's also an illegal move in California, where law says "After the ballot is marked, a voter shall not show it to any person in such a way as to reveal its contents." But an eager voter is good to go in Illinois, Delaware and Maine -- read the whole list of state-by-state ballot tweet laws over at Gizmodo.
Twitter and Instagram aren't the only social services being used to document time in the voting booth. One of the early big stories on Tuesday has been a malfunctioning voting machine in Pennsylvania, which switched votes for President Obama into votes for Romney. A reddit user recorded the problem on YouTube and posted it on the social sharing community, and it subsequently went viral, leading the machine to be taken out of service.
One positive from all this? People are at least tweeting their "I voted" sticker.
UPDATE: Hannity addressed the situation on his radio show Tuesday, saying, "So I learned a big civics lesson today. Now for those of you that have been on past election show... I always share with everybody who I vote for... so I decide I took a picture of my vote and I tweeted it out and then I heard it's not allowed. So I had to - I deleted it - woops! I didn't know, I really didn't, honestly.”