Eric Trump just wanted to show support for his father, Republican nominee Donald Trump, with an election-day tweet Tuesday morning — but he may have inadvertently broken the law: Trump’s second son tweeted a photo of his filled-out ballot Tuesday, complete with his presidential vote.
In New York, that’s illegal. Eric Trump subsequently deleted the tweet, but not before The Verge captured it.
Like a number of other states, New York has a law that forbids voters to show their filled-out ballots to others. These laws were all written long before the age of social media, but have gotten a lot more attention as of late. That’s because voters can run afoul of them even if they just snap a selfie in the voting booth that reveals part of their voting choices.
These kinds of ballot selfies are illegal in New York, California,Florida, Nevada and a number of other states. Some states, including New York, regard ballot sharing as a misdemeanor, while other states actually call it a felony. The Verge has a helpful form on its website that lets voters find out about the legality of ballot selfies in their states.
Critics have argued that ballot selfie laws are antiquated, and a number of states actually have made changes to their laws to allow voters to share photos that include their ballots. California Governor Jerry Brown for instance signed a bill allowing just that in September, but the law won’t go into effect until the beginning of 2017. The ACLU recently sued to allow California voters to share their ballot photos, but a judge denied the group’s request last week.