Judge Blocks “Ballot Selfie” Ban

A judge has blocked Michigan law and policies that would prevent voters from taking photos of their ballot in the November 8 election. Joel Crookston of Portage sued in Grand Rapids federal court, saying his First Amendment right to free speech was violated. Judge Janet Neff issued a preliminary injunction Monday. State election officials had argued that the rules are intended to protect the integrity of the election. But the judge said it could be done without a sweeping prohibition. The secretary of state asked Neff to freeze her order so it can file an appeal.  Crookston filed a lawsuit after learning that a picture of a ballot could get him in trouble. He took a “ballot selfie” in 2012 while voting for a write-in candidate for Michigan State University trustee. No action was taken.