After Voting, Is It Wise to Post Your Election Ballot?

Congressional candidates may cross the line with pleas to prove your vote on social media.


State Sen. Donna Mercado Kim’s Campaign for Congress came under fire from the League of Women Voters this week after the campaign sent out an email asking voters to post photos of their ballots on social media.

In the age of Facebook and Twitter, where people often post everything from what they eat at every meal to pictures of puppies and their marriage problems, uploading a photo of a completed ballot doesn’t seem so extreme. You might publicly “like” a politician on Facebook or volunteer with a campaign in the hopes it will encourage others to vote. But, the League says, sharing your ballot goes against the private nature of the voting process. The plea risks “disenfranchising those considering voting by mail with fears of losing the confidentiality of their vote,” the organization says in a news release.

Kim’s campaign acknowledges the issue with the following statement:

“We have been made aware of the League of Women Voters complaint and understand its concern.

The targeted email blast was sent out to 468 supporters of state Sen. Donna Mercado Kim by her campaign staff with the intent to encourage them to vote absentee.

Kim was not aware it specifically asked them to post their ballot on Facebook and Twitter.

We have since deleted the email blast.

The intent was not to ‘intimidate’ anyone to disclose their vote on social media.”

State Rep. Mark Takai’s campaign has also encouraged his Facebook supporters to take pictures of themselves with their ballots in order to be part of a team collage. Other candidates in the Congressional District 1 race, including Honolulu City Council Member Ikaika Anderson, simply posted photos of filled-in ballots while humbly asking for votes.

If you want to post a picture, that’s your choice. But if voters feel pressured to disclose information they don’t feel comfortable sharing, it can have consequences. Remember that your employer or union could see your post, the League says. We might say the same for those TMI updates. You know which ones we mean.


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Honolulu Magazine June 2019
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