No, it is not allowed to take pictures or videos at the polling places of the Supreme Committee

No, it is not allowed to take pictures or videos at the polling places of the Supreme Committee

Charleston, South Carolina (WCSC) – South Carolina election officials say voters cannot take photos or videos with cell phones or cameras inside state polling places.

It’s a new rule, officially adopted by the state’s Board of Elections Commission in October, that surprised at least one voter on Tuesday. One voter said polling staff at Moultrie Prep School in Mount Pleasant told him that cell phones were not allowed in the building.

Isaac Kramer, executive director of the Charleston County Board of Elections and Voter Registration, confirmed the policy, citing a rule from the South Carolina Election Commission’s Handbook of Polling Administrators:

No voter, polling observer, or observer may take photographs of polling equipment, including but not limited to seals on the machines. Cameras, mobile phones and other digital imaging and electronic recording devices are not permitted in the voting area.

State Election Commission Executive Director Chris Whitmer said improper use of a cell phone would be a violation of SEC policy.

“If a person refuses to comply with the rule, it may result in him being removed from the polling place,” he said. “Just owning your phone is not a violation.”

This sign, outside Stono Park Elementary School, warns voters not to use cell phones in…
This sign, outside Stono Park Elementary School, warns voters that the use of cell phones in the voting booth is prohibited by law. State election commission officials say the rule specifically prohibits taking photos or recording videos at booths, but they say just having a cell phone with you is not a violation.(live 5)

Whitmer said allowing your ballot to be seen by someone else is a misdemeanor punishable by a fine of up to $1,000 or imprisonment for up to one year. This law, he says, applies to everyone, including candidates.

An opinion published by South Carolina Attorney General Alan Wilson in May 2012 notes that any voter who permits his or her vote to be seen, “by any means, with the apparent intent to inform him of how he/she is about to vote or vote, may be found to have violated the constitutional and statutory mandate of the secrecy of the ballot.” in this state.”

But Wilson also noted that his office has “consistently advised that invoking judgment as to whether a particular individual should be prosecuted is justified or has a sound legal basis in a particular case is at the discretion of the local prosecutor.”

The 2022 edition of the State Ballot Administrators’ Handbook also provides guidance on a variety of issues. For example, it states that a polling director should never handle a voter’s ballot paper unless the voter requests special assistance. The principal must also have the voter wait at the ballot scanner until the words “Thank you for voting” appear on the screen.

The manual states that it is illegal for husbands and wives who are able to vote separately to enter the voting booth together to vote unless one spouse is disabled and requests the other’s help in voting.

Children of the voter are permitted to accompany the voter to the voting booth, but voters must confirm that they are the parent of any accompanying child.

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