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Just Like Daddy: Eric Trump’s Ballot Selfie Tweet Stirs Controversy

Tuesday, November 8, 2016 14:49
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Another member of the Trump clan might have landed himself in trouble over his use of Twitter.

Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump frequently has touched off controversy with his seemingly unfiltered use of Twitter before and during the 2016 campaign, but it was Donald’s son Eric who might have broken New York state law on Tuesday by tweeting a photo of his ballot.

“It is an incredible honor to vote for my father! He will do such a great job for the U.S.A.!” Eric Trump posted to Twitter on Tuesday morning, along with a photo of his ballot and a “Make America Great Again” hashtag. The tweet was later deleted.

Eric apparently wanted the world to know that he did indeed vote for his father, for whom the younger Trump has been a frequent surrogate during the campaign. The problem: under New York law, so-called “ballot selfies” are illegal and carry a fine of up to $1,000 and up to a year in prison.

Those punishments are pretty absurd, but it’s rather unlikely that Eric Trump—or other famous ballot-selfie-takers like Justin Timberlake, who seemingly violated Tennessee law by posting a picture of his ballot last week—will face any form of punishments. Still, state laws against pictures of filled-out ballots have drawn attention this year as arcane election rules have collided head-on with the quintessential millennial activity of selfie-taking to commemorate even the most mundane of experiences.

Some states are overturning ballot selfie bans. A federal judge in Michigan ruled last month that a law prohibiting ballot selfies was a violation of the First Amendment. Similar laws were tossed by federal judges in Colorado and Kentucky just days before the election.

A similar First Amendment legal challenge to New York’s ballot selfie law was launched days before the election, but a federal judge upheld the law.

According to the Associated Press, there are 17 states where ballot selfies are currently illegal (including Eric Trump’s home state of New York) and 13 other states where the legality is not clear.


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