Social Networking and the 2012 Election: #JustVoted

By Marinel Yoro on November 8, 2012

It was that time once again for all registered voters to have their opinions counted in the November elections on the sixth!  With this new generation of voters in the mix, one can only imagine their excitement in having their voices heard.  Now more than ever, more young people are realizing the impact of their votes and the importance of being politically effective.  Yet at the same time that their enthusiasm in these kinds of political matters is a good thing, the increasing popularity of social media websites like Facebook and Instagram have proven counteractive towards their intent.

These days it is definitely not hard to find out what one person is up to, whether you are following them on Twitter, Facebook Instagram, or any other social networking site.  This Tuesday, many proud voters snapped photos of their completed ballots and shared them on Instagram in order to keep friends and followers updated as well as rep their candidate of choice.  However, for many, this mark of enthusiasm did not go without consequence.  What a lot of voters seemed to go unaware of this voting season is their state-wide election laws, one of which states the illegality of photographing or recording at polling stations as well as sharing your ballots for unauthorized purposes.  And yes, social networking is included as an “unauthorized purpose.”  Specifically, there are seven different states that prohibit this, whereas in many other states it is highly discouraged.  The consequences of which vary from state to state.  Criminal penalties may ensue as a result and in many cases, a voter’s ballot may be excluded from the count.

For most people, new voters especially, elections are an exciting time in which their voices count towards making a difference for the future.  As such, for many, bragging rights are a must.  But hey, that’s why they hand out those nifty stickers that say “I voted!” on them.  Show people you care about political and social issues without the consequence of losing your right to vote!

Sources:

http://www.motherjones.com/mojo/2012/11/things-know-you-instagram-your-ballot

http://www.buzzfeed.com/jtes/10-instagrams-of-ballots-that-are-definitely-mayb

 

By Marinel Yoro

Uloop Writer
Hello Uloop world! My name is Marinel Yoro and I am currently a Sophomore at the University of California Santa Cruz. Right now I am a proposed Literature major with concentration on Modern Literary Studies. After graduation, my plan is to get my teacher's credentials and to fulfill my dream of becoming a middle school teacher! Aside from my studies, I really enjoy art and drawing as a sort of hobby for fun, to get me through hard times, and of course the dreaded writer's block.

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