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Election Legal Guide

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  1. Newsgathering
The Election Legal Guide provides an overview of legal issues that journalists may face while reporting on elections.

This guide was originally authored in 2020 by Reporters Committee attorneys Sarah Matthews and Gunita Singh, legal fellows Audrey Greene and Kamesha Laurry, and legal interns Emma Lux and Shontee Pant. It was updated in 2024 by legal fellows Zach Babo, Julia Dacy, Mayeesha Galiba, and Daniela Wertheimer.

The Election Legal Guide provides an overview of legal issues that journalists may face while reporting on the 2024 election cycle. View the Election Legal Guide in Spanish / Vea la Guía Legal Para Las Elecciones en Español.

The first five sections of this guide offer a general summary of information about campaign events, exit polling, newsgathering in or near polling places, ballot selfies, and access to ballots and election records. The subsequent sections provide more specific information on each of the following battleground states: Arizona, Florida, Georgia, Michigan, Minnesota, Nevada, New Hampshire, North Carolina, Ohio, Pennsylvania, and Wisconsin.

Journalists who are reporting on protests and demonstrations during the election season can also learn more about the special risks they may face and how to stay safe in the Reporters Committee’s Police, Protesters, and the Press guide. These guides are intended for informational purposes only and do not replace the legal advice of an attorney. Journalists with additional questions, including questions about states not featured in this guide, should contact the Reporters Committee’s free Legal Hotline.

Campaign events

Campaign rallies and events are, as a general matter, privately funded by political campaigns and are thus considered private events. As a result, campaigns maintain control over which members of the public may (or may not) access these events, including journalists. Journalists have historically been granted access to campaign events; however, since 2016, there have been increased reports of journalists barred — or removed — from such events. The problem has continued into 2024, with recent reports of journalists being denied access to campaign events held by Donald Trump and Nikki Haley.

Journalists denied credentialed access to campaign events have experienced success attending as a member of the general public. However, journalists should be aware that they may be subject to removal if they violate event rules established by the campaign. For example, in 2020 a New York Times reporter was ejected from a Trump campaign rally after reporting via social media from the event’s general audience area, which purportedly violated the campaign’s event rules.

Exit polling

Exit polls conducted in person

Journalists’ rights and restrictions at polling places are not set in stone. Whether a restriction is permissible often turns on its “reasonableness” under the circumstances. Although courts do not often address the general issue of newsgathering at polling places, several courts have considered the narrower question of whether journalists should be able to conduct exit polls on Election Day, usually finding that only some reasonable restrictions are allowed.

Generally, the First Amendment protects journalists’ right to gather news outside polling places for the purpose of reporting on early election results. Although many states today have polling-place restrictions to prevent voter intimidation and election fraud, courts have invalidated legislation that is aimed at preventing exit polling.

The key question about each restriction is whether it seeks to limit speech or newsgathering. If it does, the restriction may be unconstitutional. But if the law applies equally to all expressive activity, does not single out newsgathering for unfavorable treatment, and promotes the safety and orderliness of the election process, restrictions deemed reasonable — such as a 25-foot limit on access — are permissible.

In the seminal case on exit polling, Daily Herald Co. v. Munro, 838 F.2d 380 (9th Cir. 1988), the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit held that a state law prohibiting exit polling within 300 feet of a voting place was unconstitutional on its face. The court clearly stated that “exit polling constitutes speech protected by the First Amendment.” Id. at 384.

At least 18 other federal courts have considered the issue since Munro. Those courts have mostly held that exit polling is constitutionally protected but have also permitted some restrictions, such as a 25-foot limit on access, Nat’l Broad. Co. v. Cleland, 697 F. Supp. 1204, 1215 (N.D. Ga. 1988), or a rule against hindering voters from leaving polling places, Am. Broad. Cos. v. Blackwell, 479 F. Supp. 2d 719, 744 (S.D. Ohio 2006). Although the U.S. Supreme Court has not addressed exit polling specifically, it has made clear that states may restrict other activity such as electioneering within at least 100 feet of voting places. See Burson v. Freeman, 504 U.S. 191, 210 (1992) (allowing restriction on solicitation of votes and distribution of campaign materials to protect the government’s compelling interest in preventing voter intimidation and election fraud).

When courts have considered restrictions that impact exit polling, they have generally agreed with the Ninth Circuit in Munro on a few key points:

First, exit polls provide invaluable information to the public. See, e.g., Cleland, 697 F. Supp. at 1209.

Second, exit polling is not inherently disruptive. See, e.g., CBS Broad., Inc. v. Smith, 681 F. Supp. 794, 801 (S.D. Fla. 1988); Am. Broad. Cos. v. Wells, 669 F. Supp. 2d 483, 490 (D.N.J. 2009).

Third, distance restrictions, even if they apply generally to activity outside polling locations, may be overly burdensome on the press’s ability to gather news. See Smith, 681 F. Supp. at 803; Cleland, 697 F. Supp. at 1209–10; CBS Broad., Inc. v. Cobb, 470 F. Supp. 2d 1365, 1371 (S.D. Fla. 2006).

The decisions vary on what distance is too burdensome, with several courts holding that restrictions of 100-feet or more are impermissible. Compare, e.g., Munro, 838 F.2d at 386 (invalidating 300-foot restriction); Cleland, 697 F. Supp. at 1215 (barring enforcement of 250-foot restriction but permitting 25-foot restriction); Nat’l Broad. Co. v. Colburg, 699 F. Supp. 241, 243 (D. Mont. 1988) (invalidating 200-foot restriction); Smith, 681 F. Supp. at 806 (barring enforcement of 150-foot restriction); Cobb, 470 F. Supp. 2d at 1371 (barring enforcement of 100-foot restriction); Am. Broad. Cos. v. Heller, No. 06-CV-01268, 2006 WL 3149365, at *13 (D. Nev. Nov. 1, 2006) (same); Am. Broad. Cos. v. Ritchie, No. 08-CV-05285, 36 Media L. Rep. 2601, 2008 WL 4635377 (D. Minn. Oct. 15, 2008) (same).

Exit polls conducted by phone

Phone surveys of voters are a growing practice that allows access to absentee and early voters, as well as those who vote by mail. Journalists conducting exit polls by phone should be aware that the Telephone Consumer Protection Act (TCPA) places restrictions on prerecorded calls. 47 U.S.C. § 227. The TCPA generally prohibits robocalls to landlines unless the recipient has provided express consent. § 227(b)(1)(B). But the law allows for certain exceptions, such as for calls that are not made for “a commercial purpose” or are made for a commercial purpose but do not include ads or telemarketing, and calls made by tax-exempt nonprofits. § 227(b)(2)(B). The Federal Communications Commission has clarified that market research and polling calls to landlines fall into this category and do not require prior consent, though these calls must still identify the caller at the beginning of the message and include a contact phone number. However, auto-dialed and prerecorded non-emergency calls to wireless phones are “prohibited without prior express consent, regardless of the call’s content.”

Newsgathering in or near polling places

Only a few courts have addressed newsgathering at and around polling places apart from exit polling. In 2013, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit rejected a challenge to a Pennsylvania statute that required people to remain at least 10 feet away from polling places, holding that there was no First Amendment right of access for newsgathering purposes. PG Publ’g Co. v. Aichele, 705 F.3d 91, 113–14 (3d Cir. 2013). However, in 2004, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit barred enforcement of a similar law in Ohio that restricted people from entering the polling place or “loiter[ing]” in the adjacent area outside. Beacon Journal Publ’g Co. v. Blackwell, 389 F.3d 683, 685 (6th Cir. 2004). The court held that the state was required to permit a news organization “to have reasonable access to any polling place for the purpose of news-gathering and reporting so long as [they] do not interfere with poll workers and voters as voters exercise their right to vote.” Id.

With respect to photography, courts have upheld some restrictions inside polling locations, given concerns about election security. In 1989, the Florida Supreme Court heard a challenge by a newspaper whose photographer was ejected from a polling place after attempting to secure a photo of a candidate at the polls. Firestone v. News-Press Publ’g Co., 538 So. 2d 457, 458 (Fla. 1989). The court held that a state law barring non-voters within 50 feet of a polling place was unconstitutional as applied outside of the voting room, but constitutional as applied within the room itself. Id. at 460. Likewise, the California Court of Appeals found that a policy prohibiting photography and videotaping within polling places was constitutional given the state’s interest in maintaining ballot secrecy and an orderly voting process. Poniktera v. Seiler, 104 Cal. Rptr. 3d 291, 304–05 (Cal. Ct. App. 2010).

One federal district court has upheld restrictions on photography outside a polling place, but such restrictions are less common. See N.J. Press Ass’n v. Guadagno, No. 12-CV-06353, 2012 WL 5498019, at *7–8 (D.N.J. Nov. 13, 2012) (rejecting challenge brought by news media organizations against anti-loitering and solicitation law that effectively barred them from taking photographs and conducting interviews within 100 feet of a polling station).

Ballot selfies

“Ballot selfies” are a social media staple and may be used by journalists to demonstrate current political trends or to inform the public of potential issues with the election process. The publication of ballot selfies or marked ballot photos should be permitted if they are obtained lawfully. Before taking ballot selfies or photos of voters at the polls, journalists and members of the public should ensure that their actions are permitted by state law. (Notably, there is no federal law disallowing ballot selfies.) The National Conference of State Legislatures has a helpful online resource with information on ballot and polling place photography laws by state. Journalists should confirm that the laws cited are still current before relying on them.

Generally, ballot selfies are considered a form of political speech. Political endorsements are considered a bedrock of the electoral process and a vital form of political expression. However, some fear that ballot selfies and other ballot photographs may encourage voter coercion or vote buying. To combat these fears, many states have adopted laws that prohibit photographing election ballots or sharing a photograph of a marked ballot with others.

According to a 2020 Vox report, 14 states have laws prohibiting ballot selfies, while 24 states and the District of Columbia permit them. Some states, like Arizona, permit photographs of absentee ballots but do not permit the use of cameras at polling sites. See, e.g., Ariz. Rev. Stat. § 16-515(G) (banning photography within 75 feet of the polls); Ariz. Rev. Stat. § 16-1018(4) (permitting a voter to make available an image of his or her own ballot). Several states allow people to take pictures of polling stations so long as they are not disruptive or for electioneering purposes.

In recent years, several courts have considered the constitutionality of laws banning ballot selfies with mixed results. At least three federal courts have struck down such laws as unconstitutional under the First Amendment. In 2016, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the First Circuit found a New Hampshire law that prohibited taking and sharing photographs of a marked ballot — regardless of whether it was taken at a polling place — overly broad and concluded that the government had failed to identify a need for the legislation other than abstract concerns about vote buying and voter coercion. Rideout v. Gardner, 838 F.3d 65, 68, 73 (1st Cir. 2016).  The New Hampshire Board of Elections advises, however, that “[i]t is appropriate to encourage that ballot selfies be taken inside the voting booth, where there is no risk of photographing other voters or their ballot.”  New Hampshire Election Procedure Manual: 2022-2023, N.H. Dep’t of State.

The following year, a federal district court — citing similar reasons — barred enforcement of an Indiana law that prohibited voters from taking or sharing images of even unmarked ballots while in a polling place. Ind. Civil Liberties Union Found., Inc. v. Ind. Sec’y of State, 229 F. Supp. 3d 817, 824–25 (S.D. Ind. 2017). A federal court in Colorado preliminarily blocked enforcement of that state’s law, which prohibited voters from showing their completed ballots, noting that state law already barred voter coercion and vote buying, and most ballots were mailed in. Hill v. Williams, No. 16-cv-0267-CMA, 2016 WL 8667798, at *11–12 (D. Colo. Nov. 4, 2016). The Colorado legislature subsequently changed the law to affirmatively allow ballot selfies. Colo. Rev. Stat. § 1-13-712(b).

In 2017, the Circuit Court of Illinois declared an Illinois law, 10 ILCS 5/29-9, which criminally outlawed ballot selfies, unconstitutional on the grounds that the law was facially overbroad. Rogers v. Madison Cnty. Clerk, No. 2016-SC-3147, 2017 WL 3475008 (Ill. Cir. Ct. July 20, 2017). However, three years later, the Appellate Court of Illinois held that the statute was a reasonable restriction on voters’ First Amendment rights. Oettle v. Guthrie, 2020 IL App (5th) 190306, ¶ 3, 189 N.E.3d 22, 25 (Dec. 16, 2020). As of March 10, 2023, an amendment to the law to permit ballot selfies remains pending in the Illinois House. IL HB1369.

A federal district court upheld New York’s ballot selfie ban, finding that the state’s interest in preventing vote buying and coercion justified the law. Silberberg. v. Bd. of Elections, 272 F. Supp. 3d 454, 479, 481 (S.D.N.Y. 2017). During its 2022 session, the New York Legislature considered a bill to allow ballot selfies; the bill did not pass and was not enacted into law. A.B. 4182, 2021-22 Leg., Reg. Sess. (N.Y. 2022).

The Sixth Circuit has also suggested, without deciding, that a Michigan ballot selfie ban may be constitutional. Crookston v. Johnson, 841 F.3d 396, 399 (6th Cir. 2016). But the issue was later settled when the Michigan secretary of state agreed to permit ballot selfies in the voting booth.

Most recently, an Ohio voter brought a challenge to enforcement of two Ohio laws that ostensibly prohibit taking ballot selfies. Kareem v. Cuyahoga Cnty. Bd. of Elec., No. 1:20-CV-02457, 2023 WL 2734636, at *6 (N.D. Ohio Mar. 31, 2023). The criminal statutes prohibit voters from “exhibit[ing]” their ballot before it is cast, Ohio Rev. Code Ann. § 3501.35(4), and from allowing their ballot “to be seen by another … with the apparent intention of letting it be known how the elector is about to vote,” Ohio Rev. Code Ann. § 3599.20. Though the voter-plaintiff pointed to evidence that the Board of Elections had sent another voter a request to delete a ballot selfie and that the Board had issued statements to the public and press about the illegality of ballot selfies, this was insufficient for the voter-plaintiff to establish standing, and the court declined to decide the constitutional merits of the voter’s case.

Access to ballots and election records

Due at least in part to the COVID-19 pandemic, the number of voters casting mail-in ballots has grown exponentially in recent years. In 2020, 43 percent of voters cast mail-in ballots, while another 26 percent voted in person before Election Day, according to U.S. Census data. According to the same data, 69 percent of voters cast their ballots nontraditionally, either by mail or before Election Day. The 2022 U.S. congressional elections saw 52.2 percent of the voting-age population participate, marking the second-highest voter turnout for such midterm elections since 2000, according to U.S. Census data.  Nearly half (47.1 percent) of those voters cast ballots before Election Day, with 31.8 percent of voters doing so by mail. This marked another increase in such nontraditional methods compared to the 2018 midterm elections, where 23.1 percent of voters cast ballots by mail, and 37.8 percent voted before Election Day.

These changes in how Americans place their votes have, in turn, resulted in changes to how states tally and report votes during the U.S. elections process. As these trends are expected to continue, this section of our guide focuses on the right of the public and press to access voter rolls, ballots, and the initial ballot count and recount process in the following battleground states: Arizona, Florida, Michigan, Minnesota, Nevada, New Hampshire, North Carolina, Ohio, Pennsylvania, and Wisconsin. In addition, it contains information about deadlines for counting and certifying state election results and where to find up-to-date election results on the night of the election and thereafter. The sections below include specific information for each of these battleground states.

To learn more about access to election-related records in each state, visit the Reporters Committee’s Open Government Guide.

Access to voter rolls

In the 2024 battleground states covered in this guide, voter registration records are open to public inspection pursuant to each state’s public records law, albeit with certain information withheld, such as social security numbers and dates of birth. In most of these states, copies of voter registration records may also be obtained.

Access to ballots

State laws vary with respect to access to ballots. Some states, like Wisconsin, consider them to be public records subject to certain redactions. See, e.g. Election Audit Central, County of Dane, WI (publicly posting zip files containing redacted ballot images for the 2022 Spring Election as a “do it yourself audit”). But other states, like Arizona, require them to be sealed, remaining confidential either for a fixed period or in perpetuity.  See Ariz. Rev. Stat. § 16-624; Ariz. Rev. Stat. § 16-625.

Access to initial ballot counts and recounts

Generally, the press and the public are entitled to observe the initial ballot counts and recounts conducted in the 2022 battleground states covered in this guide. In Pennsylvania, however, only candidates and their attorneys or representatives may be present to observe a recount.  See, e.g., 25 Pa. Cons. Stat. § 3154(e). In Ohio, the secretary of state has indicated that the public’s right of access may not be “as extensive” as the right of access for “duly appointed observers,” although the secretary has not clarified what this means. Directive 2011-12, Ohio Sec’y of State (Mar. 25, 2011).

Federal and state deadlines

The battleground states featured in this guide generally do not permit mail-in or absentee ballots to be counted prior to Election Day — although Arizona and Florida do. However, some states, including Minnesota, North Carolina, and Ohio, permit counties to process mail-in ballots — meaning prepare them for counting — prior to Election Day. Proposals for similar measures in Michigan and Pennsylvania have stalled in recent years despite support from their respective secretaries of state.

The battleground states differ on when the ballot count must be completed, as well as their mail-in ballot receipt deadlines and requirements for mail-in ballot eligibility. Such deadlines and requirements were regularly the subject of litigation in 2022, and we should expect to see more of the same in 2024.

Secretaries of state and state election boards may provide timely access to election results and election-related records on their websites.


Voter rolls
  • Voted ballots are statutorily preserved only for conducting a recount and, afterwards, they must be destroyed without examination. Ariz. Rev. Stat. § 16-624.
  • Ballot images are protected from physical and electronic access, including unauthorized copying or transfer and are protected by security measures that are at least as protective as those in place for paper ballots. Ariz. Rev. Stat. § 16-625.

Initial ballot counts and recount process

  • “All proceedings at the counting center shall be ... under the observation of representatives of each political party and the public.” Ariz. Rev. Stat. § 16-621(A).
  • There is a live feed that streams tabulation for all elections where ballots are counted. The county officer in charge of elections must provide a live video recording of the counting of ballots in the tabulation room, during both initial counting and recounts. Ariz. Rev. Stat. § 16-621(D).
  • The county officer in charge of elections must timely provide the website hyperlink to the recordings to the secretary of state, who then publishes those links on the secretary of state’s website including date and time indicators. The secretary of state posts links to the video coverage for viewing by the public. Id.
  • “The county recorder or officer in charge of elections shall record the video coverage of the ballots at the counting center and shall retain those recordings as a public record for at least as long as the challenge period for the general election.” Id.
Dates and deadlines for counting ballots
  • Most Arizonans vote by mail.
  • Early voting begins Oct. 11, 2024. For absentee ballots and ballots cast in accordance with early voting procedures, “tallying of ballots may begin immediately after the envelope and completed affidavit are processed … and delivered to the early election board.”  Ariz. Rev. Stat. § 16-550(B).
  • Results of early voting cannot be “released or divulged before all precincts have reported or one hour after the closing of the polls on election day, whichever occurs first.” Ariz. Rev. Stat. § 16-551(C).
  • Polls close at 7 p.m. on Election Day. The deadline for tallying all ballots is the fourth Monday following the general election — this year, Dec. 2.  Ariz. Rev. Stat. § 16-648.
  • Counties have up to 20 days and the state has up to 30 days to canvass and certify the results. Ariz. Rev. Stat. § 16-642(A); Ariz. Rev. Stat. § 16-648.
  • Maricopa County will begin posting unofficial results at 8 p.m. on Election Day. There are 2,406,677 registered voters in Maricopa County as of Jan. 2, 2024. Of those voters, 1,879,979 are on the active early voting list.
  • Additional sources: Maricopa County Elections Department; Secretary of State 2024 Election Information

Election result resources

  • The Arizona secretary of state website and the Maricopa County recorder website will post election results when they become available.
Exit polling, newsgathering in or near polling places, and ballot selfies


Voter rolls
Initial ballot counts and recount process
  • The initial ballot counts, or canvasses, are open to the public. County boards of election will generally post information on their websites about attending canvasses. Fla. Stat. § 102.141(2).
  • Public notice of a recount must be provided as soon as possible once a recount is deemed necessary.  Fla. Stat. § 102.166.
  • All procedures relating to recounts are open to the public. Id.
  • Additional sources: Recount Procedure Summary, Fla. Div. of Elections (last updated June 2022).
Dates and deadlines for counting ballots
  • The deadline for county canvassing boards to submit official results to the Florida Department of State is 12 p.m. EST, 13 days after Election Day — this year, Nov. 18. Fla. Stat. § 102.112(2). If the results are not sent to the Department of State due to an emergency, the Elections Canvassing Commission must determine a new deadline. Fla. Stat. § 102.112(4).
Election result resources
  • Elections supervisors provide live turnout data to the public on Election Day and update it at least once an hour. For current election results, visit the Florida Department of State’s Election Watch website.

Exit polling, newsgathering in or near polling places, and ballot selfies

  • Florida law has prohibited “solicitation” both inside polling places and within 150 feet of them, including seeking “fact, opinion, or contribution.” Stat. § 102.031(4)(b). The law, however, contains an express carve-out that permits exit polling.
    • In 2023, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Eleventh Circuit evaluated, among other provisions, the constitutionality of the final clause of Section 102.031(4)(b), which prohibited “engaging in any activity with the intent to influence or effect of influencing a voter.” See League of Women Voters of Fla. v. Fla. Sec. of State, 66 F.4th 905 (11th Cir. 2023). The Court upheld the district court’s determination that the clause “engaging in any activity with the … effect of influencing a voter,” as written, was unconstitutionally vague and overbroad because it failed to put an individual on notice of what acts it forbids. at 946–47. However, the Court’s ruling does not appear to affect the permissibility of exit polling in the state.
  • Florida law also generally prohibits photography in polling places, but a 2019 amendment to the law makes an exception for ballot selfies. (“[A]n elector may photograph his or her own ballot”). Fla. Stat. § 102.031(5).
  • The public can enter polling rooms to watch procedures before the polls open and after all voters have cast their ballots. But the press cannot be in the polling room when polls are open. Fla. Stat. §102.031(3)(a).


Voter rolls
  • Voter registration lists are available to the public under the Georgia Open Records Act.  Ga. Code Ann. § 21-2-225(b).
  • The requester must complete and mail a form and payment to the Georgia secretary of state’s office. Available voter information includes voter name, residential address, mailing address (if different), race, gender, registration date, and last voting date. Georgia’s secretary of state’s office determines pricing. Georgia law prohibits the use of voter registration information for commercial purposes. Ga. Code Ann. § 21-2-225(c).
  • The contents of voting machines are not open to the public. Ga. Code Ann. § 21-2-72.
  • However, “the primary and election records of each superintendent, registrar, municipal governing authority, and committee of a political party or body, including registration statements, nomination petitions, affidavits, certificates, tally papers, returns, accounts, contracts, reports, and other documents in official custody” are publicly available. Id.
Initial ballot counts and recount process
  • Ballot counts using optical scanning equipment are open to the public, but only persons “employed and designated for [the] purpose [of counting and tabulating ballots] by the superintendent’s authorized deputy shall touch any ballot or ballot container.” Ga. Code Ann. § 21-2-483(b).
  • Georgia law does not require an automatic recount. Candidates have a right to request a recount if the margin is less than or equal to 0.5 percent. Recount requests must be made in writing within two business days of the release of certified voting results. Ga. Code Ann. § 21-2-495(c)(1).
  • Candidates may also request a recount when there is a suspected error or discrepancy in the returns. The secretary of state has discretion to permit the recount. Ga. Code Ann. § 21-2-495(d).
  • During recounts, all ballots must be counted using ballot scanners. Members of the public are allowed to view the recount, and officials must maintain a “clear audit trail” during the recount, including logs of ballot container seal numbers. See Ga. Rules of State Election Bd., 183-1-15-.03(1)(b), (d), (f).
  • While voting results are subject to the Georgia Open Records Act’s disclosure requirements, particular types of election data that may compromise election security “against sabotage, criminal, or terroristic acts” may be exempt. See Smith v. DeKalb Cnty., 654 S.E.2d 469, 472 (Ga. App. Ct. 2007) (affirming injunction prohibiting disclosure of election CDs that included passwords, encryption codes, and other security information).
  • Unless noted otherwise, it’s unlawful to disclose or receive any information about absentee ballot tabulations until the polls close. Ga. Code Ann. § 21-2-386(f).
Dates and deadlines for counting ballots
  • Georgia county election boards may begin processing absentee ballots (also known as mail-in ballots) up to 15 days before Election Day, and must begin doing so one week before Election Day, according to an emergency rule passed by Georgia’s State Elections Board on Nov. 23, 2020. However, absentee ballots may not be counted until Election Day. Ga. Rules of State Election Board 183-1-14-0.9-.15(1); Ga. Code Ann. § 21-2-386.
  • Election officials must maintain a master list, subject to public inspection, listing the name and residence of every person to whom an absentee ballot has been sent. Ga. Code Ann. § 21-2-384(d).
Election result resources
Exit polling, newsgathering in or near polling places, and ballot selfies
  • In Georgia, reporters may enter a polling place to observe, but they are prohibited from entering the “enclosed space.” See Ga. Code Ann. § 21-2-568.1 (stating that, except for children so authorized, “no person shall intentionally observe an elector while casting a ballot in a manner that would allow such person to see for whom or what the elector is voting” and that violators of this provision “shall be guilty of a felony”). Georgia law refers to an “enclosed space” as a single room furnished with a guardrail or barrier where voting machines are located and where electors cast their votes. Ga. Code Ann. § 21-2-267(a).
  • Georgia law prohibits members of the public, including journalists, from taking pictures, videos, or other recordings inside the polling place. Therefore, ballot selfies are not permitted at the polls. Ga. Code Ann. § 21-2-413(e).
  • Journalists may not conduct exit or public opinion polling of voters within 25 feet of the exit of any building where a polling place is located. Ga. Code Ann. § 21-2-414(c)(1).


Voter rolls
  • Ballots, not traceable to individual voters, are available for inspection and copying, according to Michigan’s public records law. Mich. Comp. Laws § 15.231 et seq.
  • Additional sources: Office of the Mich. Att’y Gen., Op. No. 7247 (May 13, 2010).
Initial ballot counts and recount process
  • Initial counting of ballots is public. Mich. Comp. Laws § 168.801.
  • Candidates and voters, except candidates seeking precinct delegate positions, can request recounts. Mich. Comp. Laws §§ 168.862­–863.
  • Recounts are conducted in a public space where interested members of the press and public may observe the process so long as observers do not disturb those counting the ballots. Mich. Comp. Laws §§ 168.879–80; Mich. Comp. Laws § 168.889.
  • Individuals who intimidate an election official with the intent to interfere in the official’s duties are subject to criminal sanction.  Mich. Comp. Laws § 168.931b. This provision does not apply to “constitutionally protected activity, including, but not limited to, engaging in reporting” and news gathering on “matters of public interest or public concern.”
  • For federal seats and State House seats contained within a single district, recount petitions must be filed within 48 hours after the Board of State Canvassers adjourns the meeting at which the determination for the seat was recorded. Mich. Comp. Laws § 168.879.
  • For federal and state seats contained in multiple counties, recount petitions must be filed within 48 hours after the Board of State Canvassers completes the canvass. Id.
  • For county seats, recount petitions must be filed within 48 hours after the Board of County Canvassers completes the canvass. Mich. Comp. Laws § 168.866.
  • Presidential and vice-presidential candidates “may seek judicial review of the certification or determination by a complaint for mandamus filed in the supreme court,” provided certain conditions are met.  Mich. Comp. Laws § 168.845a. Review “must be filed within 48 hours after the certification or determination of the results of a presidential election.”
  • Voters, within 30 days after the election, may bring suit in county circuit court for apparent material fraud in an election to “decide a constitutional amendment, question, or proposition.” Mich. Comp. Laws § 600.4545.
  • Additional sources: Mich. Comp. Laws § 168.874; Mich. Election Dates, Office of the Mich. Sec’y of State.
Dates and deadlines for counting ballots
  • Absentee ballots may not be counted until Election Day.
  • The boards of county canvassers must complete the ballot count within 14 days after Election Day — this year, by Nov. 19. Mich. Comp. Laws § 168.822.
  • The Board of State Canvassers must certify the results for President and Vice President within 20 days of the election — this year, by Nov. 25. Mich. Comp. Laws § 168.842.
  • If the unofficial election return vote margin between the first and second place winners of the presidential and vice presidential election is fewer than 25,000, the secretary of state will expedite county canvassers’ returns such that the completed count is concluded by the seventh day after the election — this year, Nov. 12 — and no later than the fourteenth day after the election — this year, Nov. 19.  Mich. Comp. Laws § 168.842.
Election result resources
Exit polling, newsgathering in or near polling places, and ballot selfies
  • Voters can take photographs of their own ballots while within voting booths, but are not allowed to take a photo of themselves with the ballot, even in the privacy of the booth. Further, voters are not permitted to share images of their voted ballots within 100 feet of polling places. Election Officials' Manual (last updated February 2024), Mich. Bureau of Elections.
  • These rules, first adopted in 2019, were part of a settlement in a voter lawsuit challenging Michigan’s restriction on ballot photography. Michigan secretary of state settles ‘ballot selfie’ case, Mich. Dept. of State.
  • Meanwhile, journalists and broadcast stations are allowed to briefly film from the public area of a polling room, but a precinct chairperson must supervise to ensure ballot secrecy is maintained and no voters are inconvenienced. Reporters may not interview voters inside the polling place. Election Officials’ Manual (last updated November 2022), Mich. Bureau of Elections.


Voter rolls
  • The county auditor shall make available a public information list containing the name, address, year of birth, and voting history of every registered voter in the county. Minn. Stat. § 201.091(4).
  • Voter registration records are available for inspection and copying. Available information includes voter name, address, and voting history. However, one must be a registered voter in the state to receive copies of the records. Records must be provided within 10 days of a request. Id.
  • One may not obtain these records “for purposes unrelated to elections, political activities, or law enforcement.” This is not a bar to access; the Minnesota secretary of state has provided copies of the statewide voter list to news outlets, including the Star Tribune. Id.
  • The names of voters whose absentee ballots were not accepted must be made publicly available after the close of voting on Election Day. Minn. Stat. § 203B.12.
  • Ballots are not available to the public or to the press as public records. Ballots are sealed after Election Day and are only available to a court during a legal dispute, to those involved in a recount, and/or to the Minnesota secretary of state. Minn. Stat. § 204C.25; Minn. Stat. § 204C.28.
Initial ballot counts and recount process
  • The initial ballot counts are public. Minn. Stat. § 204C.33.
  • The public and the press are also allowed to observe recounts. Viewing areas are established for the public to watch the recounting of ballots. Minn. Stat. §204C.361.
  • A candidate whose nomination is in question may request a recount if the vote margin is less than 0.25 percent for federal offices and state constitutional or judicial offices, less than 0.5 percent for state legislative offices, or if the difference in votes is 10 or less where the total number of votes is 400 or fewer. Minn. Stat. § 204C.35–36. The request must be made with the appropriate filing officer within 48 hours after the canvassing board meeting.
  • Additional sources: Recounts, Office of the Minn. Sec’y of State.
Dates and deadlines for counting ballots
  • No ballots are tallied before Election Day in Minnesota, although the ballots can be processed prior to Election Day.
  • The County Canvassing Board meets between the third and tenth days following the state general election to publicly canvass the general election returns. This means that, this year, canvassing must be completed by Nov. 15. The State Canvassing Board then meets to count the tallies received from each of the county auditors on the third Tuesday following the state general election — this year, Nov. 26. The board must report the results within three days of completing the count — this year, Dec. 2. Minn. Stat. § 204C.33(1).
  • Source: Canvassing Boards, Office of the Minn. Sec’y of State; 2022 Minnesota Absentee Voting Administration Guide at 49.
Election result resources
Exit polling, newsgathering in or near polling places, and ballot selfies
  • There is no law prohibiting someone from taking a picture of his or her own ballot. However, the Minnesota secretary of state’s office discourages the practice because state law technically prohibits voters from showing their marked ballot to others. Polling Place Rules, Office of the Minn. Sec’y of State; Stat. § 204C.17–18.
  • Journalists can observe the voting process, but they cannot conduct exit polling interviews, converse with a voter, or approach within six feet of a voter inside the polling place. Journalists must present photo identification to the head election judge upon arrival along with either a recognized media credential or a written statement from a local official attesting to the media representative’s credentials. Stat. § 204C.06.


Voter rolls
  • Nevada law does not recognize a right of public access to ballots. Ballots are secured for 22 months by the county clerk and are only subject to inspection by a court order. Nev. Rev. Stat. § 293.391.
Initial ballot counts and recount process
  • The public and the press may observe the initial ballot-counting process as well as a recount, but state law does not permit observers to interfere with the determination of the Recount Board. Nev. Rev. Stat. §293B.353; Nev. Rev. Stat. § 293.404.
  • Registered voters may also request recordings of the ballot-counting process — provided recordings were made — at no cost. Nev. Rev. Stat. § 293B.353.
  • Additional sources: Nev. Att’y Gen., Op. No. 175 (Nov. 25, 1974) (explaining that the public access requirements of standard ballot-counting apply to recounts because “a recount is but a replay of the procedures for inspecting ... the ballots as was done immediately after the general election”).
Dates and deadlines for counting ballots
  • In Nevada, counties may start counting absentee ballots fifteen days before Election Day — this year, Oct. 21. Nev. Rev. Stat. § 293.269929. The count must be completed before seven days after Election Day — this year, Nov. 12.
  • County canvasses must be completed within 10 days of the election — this year, Nov. 15. Nev. Rev. Stat. § 293.387(1).
  • On Nov. 26, the justices of the Nevada Supreme Court must meet with the Nevada secretary of state to review the election results, and the governor will issue a proclamation declaring which candidates have been elected to public office. Nev. Rev. Stat. §§ 293.395(2)–(3).
  • Additional sources: Sec’y of State for Nevada, 2024 Nevada Election Calendar.
Election result resources
  • The Nevada secretary of state provides election data on the Silver State Elections website.
Exit polling, newsgathering in or near polling places, and ballot selfies
  • Nevada law prohibits “any person” from speaking to a voter about the voter’s ballot within 100 feet of a polling place. Nev. Rev. Stat. § 293.740. However, a coalition of media organizations challenged the application of this law to exit polling in 2006, and a federal trial court agreed that it likely violates the First Amendment and preliminarily blocked its enforcement. Am. Broad. Cos. v. Heller, No. 06-CV-01268, 2006 WL 3149365, at *1 (D. Nev. Nov. 1, 2006). Nevada’s secretary of state subsequently agreed to a final judgment, entered by the court, that declared the law unconstitutional as applied to the media coalition and permanently enjoined the law’s enforcement against the media plaintiffs in future elections. Although the judgment only applied to the media organizations who brought the lawsuit (ABC, The Associated Press, CNN, CBS, Fox News and NBC Universal), the Elections Division of Nevada’s office of the secretary of state has clarified, via email to a Reporters Committee attorney, that the Nevada law, § 293.740, “does not prohibit exit polling,” so journalists are free to conduct exit polls in the 100-foot area outside polling locations.
  • Nevada law prohibits members of the “general public” from taking photos or otherwise recording “the conduct of voting at a polling place,” so ballot selfies are not permitted at the polls. Nev. Rev. Stat. § 293.274(2).
  • Journalists who are employed or contracted by a “newspaper, periodical, press association, or radio or television station” may observe conduct of voting at a polling place and may photograph or record the same. Nev. Rev. Stat. §§ 293.274(1)–(3).
  • Certain counties, including Clark County, Nevada, home of Las Vegas, require that “no direct or clear shots of the ballot” be captured and request that “willing persons may be interviewed outside of the voting site.”

New Hampshire

Voter rolls
  • The secretary of state maintains a statewide centralized voter registration database. Any person may view the data available on the public statewide voter registration checklist at the state records and archives center during normal business hours, but they may not print, duplicate, transmit, or alter the data. N.H. Rev. Stat. § 654:31.III.
  • A viewer may not access the entire database but can conduct searches for specific entries. See N.H. Rev. Stat. § 654:45 (stating database, as a whole, is not subject to disclosure under § 654.31 or New Hampshire’s Right-to-Know Law, § 91-A, et seq.).
  • Available information includes name, address, voter participation history, and party affiliation. N.H. Rev. Stat. § 654:31.
  • “Checklists,” which show who voted, are public records that may be viewed and copied for a fee from each town or city clerk or from the state archives. See N.H. Rev. Stat. § 654:31 (providing public access to checklist); § 654:25 (providing information maintained and updated by supervisors maintaining checklists).
  • Sources: NH Rev. Stat. § 654:25; NH Rev. Stat. § 654.45.
  • Ballots are exempt from New Hampshire’s Right-to-Know law. Ballots used in an election remain sealed in the containers provided by the secretary of state until destroyed after the state and federal retention periods. N.H. Rev. Stat. § 659:95; see also § 659:97 (requiring secretary of state to furnish containers and sealers to preserve ballots); § 659:100 (requiring the destruction of ballots still in the town or city clerk’s possession, after the retention period expires, in accordance with § 33-A:3-a).
Initial ballot counts and recount process
  • Initial counting of ballots is public, and “shall not be adjourned nor postponed until it shall have been completed.” N.H. Rev. Stat. § 659:63.
  • Recounts are conducted in public, and anyone can attend. See N.H. Rev. Stat. § 660:5 (requiring ballots from the recount to be delivered to a “public facility designated by the Secretary of State.”); see also § 659:63 (providing counting of ballots shall be public).
Dates and deadlines for counting ballots
  • In New Hampshire, counties may not start counting absentee ballots on Election Day until after the polls are closed, although counties may process absentee ballots — meaning prepare them for counting — as early as two hours after polls open on Election Day. N.H. Rev. Stat. § 659:49; see also § 659:63 (providing counting of ballots shall be public).  However, upon a written challenge of 10 or more voters present at the polls no later than 1 p.m. on Election Day, the moderator shall postpone “the processing of all absentee ballots until after polls close and prior to the counting of all ballots cast in the election.” § 659:49. The moderator, or the moderator’s designee, “shall post the time at which the processing of absentee ballots shall begin at the polling place and one other public location at least 24 hours before the polls open[;]” and, that at the opening of the polls, the “moderator shall announce the time at which the processing of absentee ballots shall begin.”  Id.
  • There is no official deadline for counting ballots in New Hampshire, although according to the office of the secretary of state, ballots are typically counted within a day or two. N.H. Rev. Stat. § 659:84 (requiring the certification of the results to occur after the time for requesting a recount expires); see also § 660:1 (requiring recounts to be requested “no later than the Friday following the election.”).
Election result resources
  • The New Hampshire office of the secretary of state posts election results on its website. According to the office of the secretary of state, local media gather and announce town-specific election data.
Exit polling, newsgathering in or near polling places, and ballot selfies
  • New Hampshire does not have specific rules on exit polling, except that such activity should not obstruct voters who are entering or exiting the polling place. The secretary of state’s Election Procedure Manual for New Hampshire, last updated for 2022-23, states that the “best practice” is to keep the press outside the “railed-in area” — beyond which only voters and election officials are permitted, N.H. Rev. Stat. Ann. § 659:21 — and allow exit polling to occur in an “adjacent room,” if available.
  • Towns can adopt their own bylaws regarding, among other things, “any activity which affects the safety, welfare and rights of voters.” N.H. Rev. Stat. Ann. § 31:41-c. These bylaws must be given to the town clerk immediately following adoption and must be posted at each polling place at least 72 hours in advance of the polls opening. Id.
  • New Hampshire has several rules about the permissible distances between a member of the public, including the news media, and any part of the election process. Anyone can observe voter registration in New Hampshire, but individuals must be more than five feet away from the voter registration table. N.H. Rev. Stat. Ann. § 654:7-c. In addition, a person may not stand within six feet of the ballot clerk to observe the check-in of voters unless that person obtains express permission from the moderators. N.H. Rev. Stat. Ann. § 659:13-a. Finally, only election officials may be present within four feet of the ballot counting, which occurs within the “guardrail,” though this process is conducted publicly. N.H. Rev. Stat. Ann. § 659:63.
  • Ballot selfies are allowed in New Hampshire. Although a state law previously prohibited them, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the First Circuit found that restriction an unconstitutional violation of the First Amendment in Rideout v. Gardner, 838 F.3d 65 (1st Cir. 2016), discussed above.

North Carolina

Voter rolls
  • Upon request, the county board of elections must provide a list of registered voters of the county or of any precinct.  N.C. Gen. Stat. § 163-82-10(c).
  • Available information includes name, address, and party affiliation. Id.
  • A county board of elections may, upon request, also furnish “selective lists” according to party affiliation, gender, race, or other categories. Id.
  • Those provided with “selective lists” must reimburse the board for the actual costs incurred in compiling the lists. Id.
  • Completed ballots are confidential and shall not be disclosed to members of the public, “unless a court orders otherwise.” N.C. Gen. Stat. § 163-165.1(e).
Initial ballot counts and recount process
  • Any member of the public may observe the initial ballot count if he or she does not interfere with the orderly counting of the ballots. N.C. Gen. Stat. § 163-182.2(a)(3).
  • The State Board of Elections must develop rules for recounts enabling “opportunity for public observation.” Yet North Carolina laws do not contain specific rules regarding observing recounts. N.C. Gen. Stat. § 163-182.7(d)(3).
  • Nonetheless, recounts in North Carolina, in practice, allow observers.
Dates and deadlines for counting ballots
Election result resources
  • Live election results can be found at the website of the North Carolina State Board of Elections.
Exit polling, newsgathering in or near polling places, and ballot selfies
  • Various election laws were changed or amended under B. 747 in 2023.
  • It is against state law to take a photograph or capture video of a voted ballot. C. Gen. Stat. § 163.166.3(c).
  • State law establishes a 50-foot buffer zone around the polling place. Journalists cannot conduct exit polling interviews within that area. C. Gen. Stat. § 163.166.4(a).
  • Members of the media need permission from the chief judge at a precinct to enter the voting enclosure. Reporters cannot take pictures or record video of a voter inside the enclosure without both the chief judge and the voter’s consent. C. Gen. Stat. § 163.166.3(b).


Voter rolls
  • Voter registration files are public records and are open to public inspection when the office of the board of elections is open for business. Viewers will be accompanied by a member of the board. Ohio Rev. Code § 3503.13(A).
  • Available registration information includes name, address, and voter participation history, but does not include social security number, driver’s license number, telephone number, or email address. Ohio Rev. Code § 3503.15; Ohio Rev. Code § 3503.13.
  • Files are also available on the Ohio secretary of state’s website. Voter Files Download Page, Office of the Sec’y of State.
  • Ballots are public records in Ohio, but only after the time period within which a possible recount or election contest may occur. Ohio Off. of the Att’y Gen., Op. No. 2011-012 (June 2011). At that point, ballots are subject to public inspection “under such reasonable regulations as shall be established” by the state’s board of elections. Ohio Office of the Att’y Gen., Op. No. 2004-050 (Dec. 27, 2004).
Initial ballot counts and recount process
Dates and deadlines for counting ballots
  • Absentee ballots may be processed, but not tabulated, beginning the day after the close of voter registration, which involves scanning the ballot using automatic tabulating equipment. However, county boards may not physically count the ballots until after the polls close on Election Day. Ohio Rev. Code § 3505.26.
  • Counties typically complete unofficial counts on election night and transmit these results to the Ohio secretary of state. Ohio Rev. Code § 3505.26; Ohio Rev. Code § 3505.27.
  • Official canvasses or counts must be completed by the 21st day after the election — this year, Nov. 26. The results are final and unamendable 81 days after the election — this year, Jan. 25, 2025. Ohio Rev. Code § 3505.32.
Election result resources
  • There shall be “periodic reporting to the public and the office of the secretary of state of the number of votes cast for each candidate” while ballots are being counted. Ohio Rev. Code § 3505.27.
  • Additionally, various counties will post and update election results on election night. For example, Licking and Jackson Counties suggest refreshing their website frequently for the most current data.

Exit polling, newsgathering in or near polling places, and ballot selfies

  • Exit polling is permitted within 100 feet of the entrance of a polling location. In Ohio, journalists are permitted to gather outside small United States flags placed on the walkways leading to the polling place.  Ohio Rev. Stat. § 3501.35.
  • It is against state law to take a photograph or capture video of a voted ballot. Ohio Rev. Code § 3599.20.
  • “Reasonable access” must be provided to journalists covering polling places, which includes access to the inside of a polling location. Ohio Rev. Code § 3501.35(B)(2).


Voter rolls
  • Commencing not later than the 15th day prior to an election, each commission shall prepare for each election district a list of the names and addresses of all registered electors as of that date residing in the district.  25 Pa. Stat. Ann. § 1403.
  • Voter rolls may be inspected during business hours, and copies may be requested for a fee. A state employee must supervise the inspection. 25 Pa. Stat. Ann. § 1207.
  • Available information includes name and address. 25 Pa. Stat. Ann. § 1403.
Initial ballot counts and recount process
Dates and deadlines for counting ballots
  • Clerks can start processing ballots at 7 a.m. EST on Election Day, although they may not begin counting them until after polls close. 25 Pa. Stat. § 3146.8.
  • The County Board of Elections shall give at least 48 hours’ notice of a pre-canvass meeting by publicly posting a notice of the meeting on its website. Id.
  • One authorized representative of each candidate and each political party is permitted to be in the room in which absentee ballots and mail-in ballots are pre-canvassed. Id.
  • The deadline for counting all ballots in Pennsylvania is the third Monday following the election — this year, Nov. 25, 2024. 25 Pa. Stat. § 2642(k).
Election result resources
  • The results of elections in federal and state elections in Pennsylvania are available on the Department of State website starting on election night.
  • Source: Election Results, Pennsylvania Department of State.
Exit polling, newsgathering in or near polling places, and ballot selfies
  • The general public, including journalists, must remain at least 10 feet away from the polling place while votes are being cast; exit polling is permitted outside this area. 25 Pa. Stat. § 3060(a)–(d).
  • Only poll watchers, peace officers, and up to 10 persons waiting to vote may enter the polling place at any given time. 25 Pa. Stat. § 3060(a).
  • In Pennsylvania, each county sets its own policy regarding electronic devices in the polling place. The counties that prohibit cell phones have signs informing individuals about this rule. “If cell phones are allowed, you can take a selfie but you should take care to not disclose the selections of another voter.”  Top Five Things to Know About Voting, Pa. Dep’t of State (last visited Jan. 22, 2024).


Voter rolls
  • Voter registration records are open to public inspection under the public records law, and copies may be obtained for a fee. Wis. Stat. § 6.36.  Requests may be made online.
  • A voter record includes a voter’s name, address, any contact information they provided with their registration, the electoral districts that voter is in, what elections they voted in, and whether they voted at the polls or absentee back to 2006. See Frequently Asked Questions, Badger Voters, Election’s Comm’n (last visited Feb. 1, 2024).
  • Poll books, which show who voted, are also available. Both registration records and poll books are in the custody of the municipal clerk where the voter registered. Wis. Stat. § 6.46.
  • Additional sources:  Wisconsin Elections Commission Public Records Request, Wis. Elections Comm’n.
  • Ballots are public records available for inspection and copying; available ballot images redact voter identifying information. See, e.g. Do It Yourself Audit, County of Dane, Wisconsin (last visited Feb. 1, 2024).
  • Clerks are required to retain ballots for 22 months following a federal election, after which they may be destroyed. Wis. Stat. § 7.23(1)(f).
Initial ballot counts and recount process
  • Any member of the public may observe the counting of ballots. Wis. Stat. § 7.41.
  • “All steps of the recount shall be performed publicly.” Wis. Stat. § 9.01.
  • “[I]nterested persons shall be entitled to be present in person ... to observe the proceedings.” Wis. Stat. § 9.01(3).
Dates and deadlines for counting ballots
  • All ballots must be counted on Election Day, after the polls close. Absentee ballots in certain municipalities may be counted prior to the closing of the polls on Election Day, but all ballots physically cast on Election Day can only be counted once the polls close. Wis. Stat. § 7.51; Wis. Stat. § 7.52.
  • The final deadline for counting ballots in the general election is Nov. 11, 2024, the first Monday after the election. Wis. Stat. § 7.51.
  • The last day for the chairperson of the Wisconsin Elections Commission to certify the results of the general election is Dec. 1, 2024. Wis. Stat. 7.70(3)(a).
Election result resources
  • County clerks post all election returns on the county website no later than two hours after receiving the returns. Wis. Stat. § 7.60.
Exit polling, newsgathering in or near polling places, and ballot selfies
  • Members of the public, including journalists, may access polling places permitted they are not disruptive to the election process. Wis. Stat. § 7.41. Media is subject to most restrictions on other election observers. Wisconsin Election Observer Rules-at-a-Glance Brochure, Wisc. Election’s Comm’n (March 28, 2022). Observers from media organizations shall identify themselves and the organization to the chief inspector when they arrive at the polling place. Id.
  • Journalists may conduct exit polling permitted it is not disruptive to the election process. Wis. Stat. § 7.41(2).
  • Photography is permitted both inside and outside the polling location. Wisconsin Election Day Manual for Election Officials, Wisc. Elections Comm’n (last visited Feb. 1, 2024). However, photographing marked ballots is impermissible, as is inducing an elector to display a marked ballot.  Wis. Stat. § 12.13(1)(f), (3)(q).
  • Media may record sound, images, and video for short periods of time inside the polling place if they are not disruptive. They may use cell phones or tablets to take pictures and videos, which regular observers are asked not to do, in addition to professional photo and video equipment.