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The Boston Globe



Pictures of marked ballots do no harm

In the age of social media, posting a photo of a marked ballot on Facebook or Twitter isn’t an election irregularity; it’s a sign of enthusiasm that could also prompt a voter’s friends and followers to head to the polls. Unfortunately, voting laws in Massachusetts haven’t quite caught up with technological advances.

It’s illegal to share a photo of your marked ballot; the ban is intended to discourage vote-buying, which could theoretically become more prevalent if would-be buyers can demand photographic proof. Secretary of State William Galvin isn’t exactly busting down doors to pursue violators of the law. But WBUR reported last week that after Boston Phoenix writer David Bernstein tweeted a photo of his own ballot, Galvin’s office contacted him to suggest that he remove it.

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