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New Hampshire "Ballot Selfie" Ban Is Unconstitutional, Appeals Court Rules

The ACLU — supported by a journalists' group and Snapchat — sued the state over the law.

Posted on September 28, 2016, at 4:28 p.m. ET

Mike Blake / Reuters

WASHINGTON — A New Hampshire law that forbids people from taking so-called "ballot selfies" is unconstitutional, a federal appeals court ruled on Wednesday.

"New Hampshire may not impose such a broad restriction on speech by banning ballot selfies in order to combat an unsubstantiated and hypothetical danger" of vote buying or voter intimidation, Judge Sandra Lynch wrote for the 1st Circuit Court of Appeals.

"We repeat the old adage: 'a picture is worth a thousand words.'"

The ACLU had brought a lawsuit challenging the law on behalf of three people investigated for alleged violations of the law during the 2014 election. At the appeals court, they were backed by the Reporters Committee for Freedom of the Press and Snapchat, among others.

In the key part of the ruling, Lynch wrote:

Read the opinion:

A BuzzFeed News investigation, in partnership with the International Consortium of Investigative Journalists, based on thousands of documents the government didn't want you to see.