ACLU Calls on Mitch Morrissey to Retract Misguided “Ballot Selfie” Threat
Statement of ACLU of Colorado Legal Director Mark Silverstein
“The ACLU of Colorado calls on Denver District Attorney Mitch Morrissey to immediately retract his misguided threat to prosecute voters for taking and sharing “ballot selfies.” Recent court cases in New Hampshire and Indiana have affirmed the right to take ballot selfies and share them, citing the First Amendment right of voters to express support for a candidate and to communicate that support to others. Legislation in seven additional states expressly authorizes “ballot selfies.”
What is more dangerous about Mr. Morrissey’s announcement is the false implication that all voters are restricted from sharing information about their ballot with others, and the impact that could have on the elderly, people who are disabled, and non-English speaking voters at the polls. The Colorado Voter Access and Modernization Act specifically gives voters who need assistance a right to bring a friend, a family member, or any other designee to help at the polls, and they cannot be challenged when that help requires them to show their ballot to someone rendering assistance.
Mr. Morrissey’s misguided statement could confuse both voters and election monitors. It poses the risk of chilling voters who need assistance from asking for it if they fear that showing their ballot will violate the law. It should be retracted immediately.”
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