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Election Selfie Program

San Bernardino County, CA
Program Year: 2018

Citizens are increasingly using social media to share their experiences with their friends and family. In recent years, they have been sharing their voting experiences by taking ballot selfies. A ballot selfie is a picture voters take of themselves with their voted ballot, and then they often share it via social media in an attempt to encourage their friends to vote. However, most voters don’t realize that election laws in many states prohibit voters from taking pictures while inside a polling place. While most election officials welcome the use of social media to promote voter participation, they must also be wary of election laws and cognizant of voter privacy concerns when developing new programs that include the use of social media in election administration. While preparing for the 2016 election cycle, the San Bernardino County Elections Office recognized these challenges and developed a creative “Election Selfie Program” that included Ballot Selfies, Mail Ballot Selfies, Candidate Filing Selfies, Voter Registration Selfies, and Student Poll Worker Selfies. This innovative program successfully promoted election participation by encouraging citizens to take election selfies and share them via social media, and it did so within the existing legal framework in California.

Mr. Michael Scarpello
Registrar of Voters