The ban on ballot photos is meant to prevent vote-buying and voter coercion, where a photo might serve as proof of how they voted. Jessica Levinson, president of the Los Angeles City Ethics Commission and a clinical law professor at Loyola Law School, says while she agrees the law is problematic in the digital age, changing it might have the unintended consequence of making it easier for organizations or employers to pressure voters.
“An employer could say, ‘Oh, we’re all voting for this today, really looking forward to seeing your ballot on Facebook later,’” Levinson said.
Still, Levinson says, boosting voter turnout in California is going to be a heavier lift than loosening selfie rules.
“If it takes you seeing a friend posting a selfie from the voting booth to get you to the ballot box," she said, "then we still have other problems.”