It is likely Justin Timberlake was simply trying to encourage voting when he posted a voting-booth selfie on his Instagram account, but instead, he caused a little legal chaos.
In late October, Timberlake took to his over 37 million Instagram followers to encourage voting and told them to “choose to have a voice.”
Initially there were questions of whether Timberlake’s selfie violated Tennessee law; however these rumors were struck down by the Shelby County District Attorney’s Office. Although it is illegal to take pictures inside polling places in Tennessee, the Shelby County District Attorney said her office would not be investigating the legality of Timberlake’s voting selfie.
With selfies and politics invading almost all forms of social media, the fact that people are taking selfies to portray their political views is not a big surprise to not only most people, but also to some courts. On September 28, 2016, the First Circuit ruled that a New Hampshire law that prohibited voters from sharing pictures of their election ballots violated the First Amendment. Then in October, after controversy arose over a “ballot selfie,” a Michigan judge granted an injunction preventing Michigan from punishing voters for taking pictures of their ballot.
While Justin Timberlake’s selfie may have gotten some negative attention under Tennessee law, it is likely it also got the attention of many voters.