Jump to content

Schuette Battles The Next Crusade With Your Tax Dollars, Selfies


Recommended Posts

please take a minute today and call the ag office and tell him to stop wasting time on this stuff



Share Media

Show Caption


Federal court lifts Michigan ban on ballot selfies









Kathleen Gray | Detroit Free Press

1 hour ago


GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. — Get ready to say CHEESE.


U.S. District Judge Janet Neff ruled Monday that Michigan’s prohibition of ballot selfies was a violation of the First Amendment right to free speech.


“The Court agrees with the Plaintiff that the interests in the integrity of the electoral process can be secured in a more reasonable manner than the blanket prohibition on citizens' photography,” Neff ruled.


“The prohibition on ballot selfies reaches and curtails the speech rights of all voters,” she added, citing a similar New Hampshire ruling on the issue.


The suit was filed in U.S. District Court in Grand Rapids on behalf of Joel Crookston of Portage, Mich., who took a selfie of his ballot in 2012 and posted it on social media without knowing that it was illegal and punishable by up to 90 days in jail or a $500 fine.




“How many laws threaten to punish people for doing innocuous things,” said Steve Klein, an attorney for Crookston. “To unequivocally state who you voted for is among the most powerful forms of free speech. It’s more powerful than a yard sign because a picture is worth a thousand words.”


Klein noted that the ballot selfie is just that, a photograph of a ballot. A voter still isn’t allowed to hold up their ballot in a polling precinct and show other people.


Michigan's ban on showing a completed ballot has been in place since 1891 when ballots were first printed by county election officials instead of political parties.


Secretary of State Ruth Johnson, through Michigan Attorney General Bill Schuette, quickly filed a motion Monday afternoon saying that they intend to appeal the ruling to the 6th Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals and asked for an injunction against implementing the ruling until after the Nov. 8 election.


“Especially since the Nov. 8, 2016, presidential election is now just 15 days away, this Court’s preliminary injunction threatens the integrity and smooth running of the upcoming election,” the motion read.


Schuette said it’s not unconstitutional to ban photography in polling places as a means to discourage vote-buying and coercion, as well as voter intimidation.


“Crookston would not be irreparably harmed by a stay,” the appeal said. “He has ample alternatives to communicate about the content of their ballot and the voting experience, including photographing himself with his ‘I voted sticker.’ ”




The last minute change in state law will create “disruption and delays — in essence the chaos — that will inevitably result from last-minute changes to familiar procedures.” Schuette wrote in the appeal.


State Rep. Sam Singh, a Democrat from East Lansing, Mich., who has sponsored legislation to allow for ballot selfies, said the ruling is appropriate and a good tool to increase voter turn out.




"I have long felt that this ban on ballot selfies is a violation of First Amendment rights," he said. "Social media is a powerful tool and individuals who wish to proudly display their ballots, and hopefully encourage friends to vote as well, should be able to do so."


Meanwhile, a Colorado state senator filed a lawsuit against the state Monday seeking to strike down a Colorado law that bans ballot selfies.




'Ballot selfie law' faces scrutiny from federal judge


In the lawsuit, Sen. Owen Hill, a Republican from Colorado Springs, argued that Colorado's ballot selfie ban "chilled" him and other voters "from being permitted to engage in the simple act of posting a photo of a ballot as a political expression."


Hill's lawsuit includes Scott Romano of Littleton, Colo., who also wanted to take a photograph of his ballot.


Colorado's law, makes it a misdemeanor for a voter to show his or her ballot "in such a way as to reveal its contents."


The lawsuit, which names the secretary of state and the attorney general as defendants, notes that similar bans on photos of ballots have been struck down in other states, including New Hampshire and Indiana.


An Associated Press review found 18 states have laws against sharing ballot photos. Six other states bar photography in polling places but permit photos of mail-in ballots. In addition to the bans that were struck down, rules have been changed in California and Rhode Island.


Contributing: Brandon Rittiman, KUSA-TV, Denver; The Associated Press. Follow Kathleen Gray on Twitter: @michpoligal

Link to comment
Share on other sites

With this new law, will voters be texting, talking on phone while in booth? If so, this will slow down the voting process.


If only for selfies, voters may wish to send to friends while in voting booths.


My opinion is to implement this new policy after the Nov. 8 election. But then my opinion don't mean anything to these people.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I've never considered taking a selfie of my ballot and hadn't even realized they were a 'thing' lol. 

Hell, I think selfies are basically really facking stupid.  Too many people caught up in themselves

for my liking actually.  We are creating some kind of self centered society or something just

as idiotic.



Making laws restricting said ballot selfies though is overreaching imho.


Oh... I don't even own a camera phone so don't expect any bs (ballot selfies [see what I did there? LOL]) from i.

Link to comment
Share on other sites



Making laws restricting said ballot selfies though is overreaching imho.



 I agree imi. selfies are dumb.


anyways, this law has been on the books a long time, challenged recently, and the guy won. now we have this.I think its got something to do with the press, taking pictures of private citizens and their ballots and such. pesky press. they touch on the scenario in Hillary's America, a movie for Hillary voters. :dodgyrun:

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I've never considered taking a selfie of my ballot and hadn't even realized they were a 'thing' lol. 

Hell, I think selfies are basically really facking stupid.  Too many people caught up in themselves

for my liking actually.  We are creating some kind of self centered society or something just

as idiotic.



Making laws restricting said ballot selfies though is overreaching imho.


Oh... I don't even own a camera phone so don't expect any bs (ballot selfies [see what I did there? LOL]) from i.

I took my step daughter and sons phones from them for the selfies they posted on face book!


when They live under my roof I can stop them from doing selfies,,,,,seems they were always selfies of them in the bathroom and trying to send pics of them selves that no one should see!


I pay the phone bill, no pass words on kids phones, I will look at their phones and make sure they are not doing stupid shiiit when ever I please!  I restricted use of their phones during school hrs also, if they need to call home they can use the phone in the class room or office!  after school hrs they can use them,,,,,,I always went to my verizon to see if they texted all nite also, when I seen that, phones were shut off and put in my bedroom every nite!  I also made them walk back to school (2 miles) when they forgot their home work, if they said they didnt have any, I checked with their teachers the next morning!


I have a camera phone, I wouldnt think of taking a b.s (ballot selfie lol)



Link to comment
Share on other sites

‘Ballot selfies’ prompt unexpected constitutional debate

10/27/16 10:40 AM
Yesterday, entertainer Justin Timberlake did something that seemed rather routine: he took advantage of early voting and cast a ballot in his native Tennessee. In fact, the celebrity took the additional step of encouraging others to follow his example: Timberlake took a “ballot selfie,” posted it to Instagram, and urged the public to “choose to have a voice.”


This, ordinarily, wouldn’t be particularly noteworthy, except for the fact that the picture was technically illegal. Though the local district attorney’s office said it wouldn’t bother wasting resources on the case, it’s actually a crime for voters in Tennessee to take a photo like Timberlake’s.


Indeed, the entertainer took down the photo after it caused a minor legal stir.


And while I generally avoid celebrity news, the hubbub got me thinking about the underlying constitutional question and the reason half of the nation’s states passed laws prohibiting ballot selfies. Why in the world would anyone care whether or not someone takes a picture of themselves and the ballot?


As it turns out, there is a reason. Mother Jones’ Kevin Drum explained the rationale:

Just for the record, then, there is a reason for selfie bans in voting booths: it prevents vote buying. After all, the only way it makes sense to pay people for their votes is if you have proof that they voted the way you told them to. Back in the day that was no problem, but ever since secret ballots became the norm vote buying has died out.


Selfies change all that. If I give you ten bucks to vote for my favorite candidate for mayor, I can withhold payment until you show me a selfie proving that you voted for my guy.

That’s not a bad argument. I haven’t seen any evidence that vote buying is a real concern, but these laws at least have a meaningful, well-intentioned rationale.


But facing legal scrutiny, they’re dropping like flies anyway.


Slate’s Mark Joseph Stern highlighted the recent legal history challenging the statutes against ballot selfies, and so far, courts have said free-speech considerations override vote-buying concerns.

Every court to consider the constitutionality of ballot selfie bans – four so far – has concluded that they constitute a suppression of free speech in violation of the First Amendment. As the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 1st Circuit ruled in late September, these “restrictions on speech” are “antithetical to democratic values,” censoring political expression under the tenuous rationale of preventing voter coercion – “an unsubstantiated and hypothetical danger.”


And on the same day that Timberlake snapped his now-infamous photo, a federal judge in Michigan suspended the state’s ballot selfie ban, concluding that the law substantially burdened political speech without any adequate justification.

The Slate piece added that about two dozen other states still have selfie-ballot bans on the books, and the ACLU is going after them.



Link to comment
Share on other sites

there it is....

would you vote for the other  candidate for.......20 million dollars,????

thats the kind of price tag our candidates charge for their favors, they take the cash all day too. no wonder we just never really get our way, its never really very fair, its always a racist agenda, always greed always with these politico guys and gals.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

fed appeals court reinstates ban on selfies




Ballot selfies are currently not allowed in Michigan following a 2-1 decision by a federal appeals court.


The decision reverses an earlier one this week from a lower court that said ballot selfies would be allowed, when a judge granted a preliminary injunction of Michigan's law that banned photographs of voter ballots.


"Timing is everything," the Friday, Oct. 28, order authored by Jeffrey S. Sutton and joined by Ralph B. Guy Jr. states. "Crookston's motion and complaint raise interesting First Amendment issues, and he will have an opportunity to litigate them in full—after this election."


"With just ten days before the November 2016 election, however, we will not accept his invitation to suddenly alter Michigan's venerable voting protocols, especially when he could have filed this lawsuit long ago," the order states.


R. Guy Cole Jr., Chief Circuit Judge, issued a dissenting opinion.


"As millions of Americans across the country prepare to vote, their counterparts in the state of Michigan will be put in the position of choosing between their freedom of expression and their right to vote," Cole wrote.


"The penalty in Michigan for taking a ballot selfie is the loss of one's right to vote. In permitting the loss of such a fundamental right, the majority puts the administrative interests of the state above the individual rights of the citizens of Michigan," Cole wrote.


Plaintiff Joel Crookston of Portage filed a federal lawsuit against the Michigan Secretary of State in September, after he photographed his ballot in November 2012 and posted the picture online, leading to his ballot being thrown out under Michigan law and Secretary of State rules.


U.S. District Court Judge Janet T. Neff issued a Monday, Oct. 24, preliminary injunction against enforcement of Michigan laws that prohibit ballot photographs, and denied Michigan Attorney General Bill Schuette's request for a stay of the decision days later.


Schuette argued the injunction "threatens the integrity and smooth running of the upcoming election."



born in saudi arabia and appointed by george w bush.



Ralph B. Guy Jr ?


hes on the FISC.



The newspaper reported that in "more than a dozen classified rulings, the nation's surveillance court has created a secret body of law giving the National Security Agency the power to amass vast collections of data on Americans".[2][a] It also wrote, with respect to the court:


In one of the court's most important decisions, the judges have expanded the use in terrorism cases of a legal principle known as the 'special needs' doctrine and carved out an exception to the Fourth Amendment's requirement of a warrant for searches and seizures ... The special needs doctrine was originally established in 1989 by the Supreme Court in a ruling allowing the drug testing of railway workers, finding that a minimal intrusion on privacy was justified by the government's need to combat an overriding public danger. Applying that concept more broadly, the FISA judges have ruled that the N.S.A.'s collection and examination of Americans' communications data to track possible terrorists does not run afoul of the Fourth Amendment, the officials said. That legal interpretation is significant, several outside legal experts said, because it uses a relatively narrow area of the law – used to justify airport screenings, for instance, or drunken-driving checkpoints – and applies it much more broadly, in secret, to the wholesale collection of communications in pursuit of terrorism suspects.

they never use these terrorism wiretaps against terrorists (there arent many). the police, courts, prosecutors use secret courts and secret laws and secret wiretaps against drug dealers. the NSA works exclusively with the DEA to make secret evidence and then cover it up.



Edited by bax
Link to comment
Share on other sites

also, no such thing as a secret ballot. that article is bunny muffin. voting is a public record. name date, addy, birth date. its to ensure our votes are counted , properly, and no shenanigans go on.

true that.

http://www.politicalstrategies.com/namestcounts/John+Smith creeps privatize your info for 2 bucks!!


these lists will provide  a map to the homes of specific party supporters/listed.


so far no trace of "who" you may have voted for, but the party is indicated.

I know people that stopped voting when this was discovered online.


 looks like not all states list a database, but give it a minute...

Link to comment
Share on other sites

when the ballots are secret, then you get elections where the person is "elected" with 97% of the vote.




Turkmenistan president wins re-election with 97% of vote




DAMASCUS, Syria — President Bashar Assad won another seven years in office, getting 97 percent of the vote in a nationwide referendum on his leadership in which he was the only candidate, according to results announced Tuesday.


Interior Minister Bassam Abdul-Majid said that 95 percent of the country’s almost 12 million voters turned out at the polls in Sunday’s presidential vote.






PYONGYANG, North Korea (AP) — With no one else on the ballot, state media reported Monday that supreme leader Kim Jong Un was not only elected to the highest legislative body in North Korea, he won with the unanimous approval of his district, which had 100% turnout.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

our votes should always be public, so we can make sure they were counted correctly.


anyone who says otherwise is stupid or a dictator.


The secret ballot was originally started to stop vote selling and to keep people from being coerced.

If you pay for a vote you want to be able to see that they have done what you paid for.


If you are the only one in your community that is voting for your favored party then the crowd at the polls may threaten you for not voting the way they want. Hence the perceived need for secrecy. 


It should be a matter of personal choice IMO.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

taking pictures of a ballot does not mean everyone gets to see it. what kind of weird fantasy land do you live in? angry crowds at the polls threatening people? is this your secret fantasy or something?


no offense, but i live in reality, not fantasy land.


voter intimidation is already illegal, wild bill.


banning pictures of a ballot is like banning pictures of marijuana.


marijuana is already illegal.

taking pictures of marijuana is free speech.

a picture of marijuana could be evidence of marijuana possession.

much like a picture of a ballot could be evidence of buying a vote.


both would have to be actually investigated, instead of just claimed the picture is illegal lol

Edited by bax
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Taking of selfies will slow down the voting process. The lines will be longer when voters are taking pic's of their ballots.


Unless the ruling is reversed, we will see this on election day.


Is their any law against taking pic's of your absent voter ballot and posting on social media? I'm thinking not.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

  • Create New...