Election Law

DA's office flip flops on whether Justin Timberlake is being investigated for ballot selfie

  • Print.

Justin Timberlake.

Photo of Justin Timberlake by Featureflash Photo Agency / Shutterstock.com.

The District Attorney’s office in Shelby County, Tennessee, says Justin Timberlake is not under criminal investigation for violating the state’s law against ballot selfies.

A contrary statement by a spokesperson for the office was incorrect, according to District Attorney General Amy Weirich. “No one in our office is currently investigating this matter nor will we be using our limited resources to do so,” she said. The Commercial Appeal has a story on her statement and the contretemps over the pop star’s selfie, taken on Monday while voting in Memphis and posted to Instagram. The photo has since been removed.

Taking a ballot selfie is a misdemeanor in Tennessee, with a possible penalty of 30 days in jail and a $50 fine. The law was intended to combat the sale of votes.

State laws vary on the legality of ballot selfies. In Illinois, taking a ballot selfie is a felony that carries a sentence of up to three years in prison. Some of the laws are being challenged in court.

Last month the Boston-based 1st U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals overturned a New Hampshire law banning ballot selfies, finding it violated the First Amendment.

Related article:

ABA Journal: “States seek to stop voters from posting ballot selfies”

Give us feedback, share a story tip or update, or report an error.