Selfie Schtick

One could argue, I believe successfully, that what has lead us to the 2016 election is that of a society dominated by appearance over substance.  The argument would advance the theory that same sort of idolatry that elevated the Kardashians also supports viewing political candidates through a similar troubling lens.  That lens is one that focuses on the hollow traits of form over substance, and emotion over reason. It’s politics as sport, complete with team colors, cheers, and a disdain for the collective enemy of “my” team. The newest extension of this sort of nonsense would be the need to take a selfie in a voting booth.  Look at me! Go Team!  #duckface. For those that have read Orwell’s prescient 1984 it is apparent that it is by us, not solely by government action, that we are gleefully giving up our own rights to privacy.  With freedom, especially First Amendment freedoms, comes the ability to make these decisions to speak, or act, politically. But, if you want to take a picture of yourself in the voting booth, permanently memorializing your political decision, that is your right. I question your intelligence and sanity, but I certainly do not question your right.

In that vein, the ACLU has filed suit against California Secretary of State Alex Padilla.  The suit challenges California Election Code §§ 14276, 14291 that states the voters are prohibited ‘from showing their marked ballots ‘”to any person in such a way as to reveal its contents.’” That is ludicrous and unsupported by any sort of viable public policy argument.  In fact, the California legislature agrees having repealed the law effective January 1, 2017.  Until then, polling places are required to enforce the existing law. That is, unless and until a Court directs otherwise.

For his part, Padilla isn’t fighting too hard to uphold the ban, either. He states that his ‘’office stands ready to comply with any decision handed down by the court on this matter.”[1] As he should for an already repealed law that would likely fail if challenged in court.


—  Derek A. Jordan, Esq., Barnes Law


Derek A. Jordan is an associate attorney with Barnes Law, licensed to practice law and land surveying in Tennessee.

The opinions expressed are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views of the firm, its clients, or any of its or their respective affiliates. This article is for general information purposes and is not intended to be and should not be taken as legal advice.

[1] See:

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