Singer, dancer, icon and Trolls cast member Justin Timberlake participated in the great democratic experiment we call these United States of America yesterday, documenting his personal contribution in his hometown of Memphis. What the critically-acclaimed artist behind FutureSex/LoveSounds didn’t realise, as noted by The Hollywood Reporter, is that Tennessee is one of the many states where photography inside a voting booth is illegal.
“Oh heckin dang I’m going to selfie gaol” Image: Chris Pizzello/Invision/AP
Timberlake’s legal trespass could land him up to 30 days in gaol, though Tennessee is hardly unique in this regard — voting selfies are illegal in 16 US states, and ambiguous in many more, as Vox points out in a helpful infographic. (He’s performative online and gets in trouble for stupid shit, just like the rest of us!)
Had our founding fathers known technology would one day allow people to broadcast blurry photos of the electoral process to complete strangers, surely they would have included a constitutional clause to encourage this behaviour. With or without their guidance, several US states have recently struck down anti-voting selfie laws, including New Hampshire and nearby Indiana, as the Associated Press discovered.
It remains to be seen if the “Suit & Tie” artist will be doing time in selfie gaol (not likely), though his innocent gaffe serves as a warning to all would-be US photographers on election day to look up their state laws, or at the very least not to geo-tag their snaps.