The U.S. District Court for the District of Colorado has enjoined the enforcement of Colorado’s ban on ballot selfies in Hill v. Williams and Harlos v. Morrisey, though the decision could certainly still be appealed on an emergency basis:
U.S. District Court Judge Christine M. Arguello enjoined the Denver District Attorney’s Office and the Colorado Attorney’s General’s Office, among others, from enforcing laws that prosecute or cite Coloradans who take “selfie” photographs with voting ballots.
Ballot selfies are expressions of free speech, plaintiffs argued in court this week, and should be protected as such.
In coming to her decision, released on Friday afternoon, Judge Arguello cited, among other reasons, “irreparable injury.”
“Where First Amendment rights are at issue, the loss of First Amendment freedoms, for even minimal periods of time, unquestionably constitutes irreparable injury,” Arguello ruled, citing case precedents.
Selfie ballots are protected unless they are in concert with “violations of other criminal law.”
Colorado’s new all-mail ballot voting system may have played a role in the decision, as the plaintiffs argued that it distinguished the election administration concerns of the state from the concerns of officials in New York and California, where ballot selfie prohibitions have been upheld in the past week.