Judge asked to block the 'ballot selfie' ban

9NEWS @ 9. 11/2/2016

KUSA - Ballot selfies -- everyone's talking about them, including a federal judge in Denver.

The case ended up in her courtroom after several people sued over the right to pose with their completed ballots and post them online.

Currently, there’s a ban on posting selfies with completed ballots.

There was also a news release from the Denver County District Attorney reminding people that ballots selfies are illegal in Colorado.

RELATED: Court considers blocking ballot selfie ban

“That is what touched off this lawsuit… and those messages from the District Attorney were forwarded around to many different people," Attorney Adam Frank said. "That really did chill people's speech.” 

Frank is representing three people who say the law is a violation of the First Amendment.

“The district attorney and the attorney general on the other side are contending that this law is necessary to prevent voter coercion," Frank said. "The only problem is there is no evidence of voter coercion or vote buying in Colorado in any form in recent history.”

Lawyers for the state wouldn't comment on camera, but argued the law is constitutional, to which the federal judge replied "Then you have a problem."

RELATEDColorado 'ballot selfie' ban sparks opposition

The 125-year-old law says you can't show your completed ballot to someone else.

The state believes that means you can't post a photo with it online.

The attorney for the state told court they wouldn’t prosecute anyone violating the law, unless they were suspected of breaking other election laws, after which the judge said, is "an indication that you believe there is a problem with this law".

Courts have struck down similar laws in other states. Hanging in the balance now is whether Colorado will follow suit.

The case will continue Thursday morning.

The judge is being asked to block the ban - at least temporarily - before the election.

She expects to make a ruling on Friday.

Copyright 2016 KUSA


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