Riverside County Law Library


Nov, 2016 Blog Posts

Is it legal to show my completed ballot?

Nov 10, 2016

vote1.jpgYou may have heard that the son of the Republican presidential candidate, Eric Trump, posted a picture of his prepared ballot on Twitter.  While this may not sound like a very big deal, he has, in fact, committed a misdemeanor by disclosing his prepared ballot.

Why you may ask? Well in the state of New York, it is considered a misdemeanor to show anyone your prepared ballot, which is where he cast his vote for his father, Donald Trump.  In comes as no surprise that he removed the post later, but not before people everywhere saw it. For those that reside in California, the law on elections is a bit different.  Under California law, pursuant to Elections Code § 14291, after the ballot is marked, the voter may not show the ballot to anyone else in such a way to reveal its contents.

This code is currently being amended to provide one exception, namely, voluntarily disclosing how he or she voted.  This bill, signed September 29, 2016, would allow California voters to disclose how they voted, as long as it does not violate any other laws. However, this bill does not go into effect until January 2017. So it is still illegal and punishable by law to show anyone your ballot in California. Because every state is different, it is best to check the codes in your state before you show anyone your marked ballot, or post it on Twitter.

Category: Current Events

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