Reminder: That selfie you want to take in the voting booth could be illegal

Peter Kafka
Democratic preisdential nominee former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton takes a selfie with supporters during a campaign rally at Allderdice High School on October 22, 2016 in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania.
Getty Images

You have a phone. And you use the internet. So there are decent odds you want to take a picture of yourself voting on Tuesday.

Which is totally cool!

Just be aware that you may be breaking the law.

About half the states in the country have rules prohibiting ballot selfies or other acts involving cameras in voting booths. That includes New York, where a federal judge kept the selfie ban in place this week, and California, where ballot selfies will become legal in 2017 but are still banned for this election.

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A supporter of Donald Trump takes a selfie with the Republican presidential candidate at a rally in front of the USS Wisconsin on October 31, 2015 in Norfolk, Virginia.
Getty Images

New Hampshire is fine with it, though. NBC has a handy chart that breaks this stuff down, state-by-state.

The history of selfie and ballot photo bans is pretty interesting — a lot of the rules have to do with attempts to prevent vote buying and voter intimidation.

But as many people have argued — including Snapchat's lawyers, in a friend of the court brief — there's no evidence those bans do any good. And there's a common sense argument that taking a picture of yourself voting is a good thing, and should be protected as free speech.

The good news is that there's very little record of people being prosecuted for this stuff. If Justin Timberlake got away with it, you're probably going to be ok, too.

By Peter Kafka, Re/

CNBC's parent NBCUniversal is an investor in Recode's parent Vox, and the companies have a content-sharing arrangement.

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