Justin Timberlake is being investigated for taking an illegal voting booth selfie
Justin Timberlake hit the voting booth Monday to get his civic duty out of the way, documenting the moment to encourage his fans to get off their asses and vote before or on Nov. 8. The pop star didn’t realize, however, that Tennessee has laws against taking photos at voting locations, so now Timberlake is being investigating for his voting booth selfie. Yep, the Shelby County D.A.’s Office has put him “under review,” according to TMZ.
Timberlake flew from L.A. to Memphis to vote at his registered polling place early and snapped a pic in front of the voting machine. “No excuses, my good people! There could be early voting in your town too,” he wrote in his Instagram caption. “If not, November 8th! Choose to have a voice! If you don’t, then we can’t HEAR YOU! Get out and VOTE!”
Turns out Tennessee passed a law last year making it legal to use phones for “informational purposes to assist the voter in making election decisions” but illegal to take any photos or recordings in polling places, and doing so could land you in jail for 30 days or paying a $50 fine. Timberlake did not think this one through. He hasn’t been prosecuted, but officials are looking into his pic (which is still up on his Instagram, by the way, so I don’t think he’s too worried).
An elections board official in Shelby County told TMZ Timberlake should be applauded for encouraging people to vote, so it’s not very likely he’ll be thrown in jail for the selfie. In fact, the news that he’s being investigated only gave him a wider audience to show off his photo and prove to people it’s ~cool~ to vote.
In case you’re wanting to copy Timberlake’s ballot selfie, here are the states where you are allowed to photograph your ballot: Connecticut, Washington D.C., Hawaii, Idaho, Indiana, Kentucky, Louisiana, Maine, Massachusetts, Michigan, Minnesota, Montana, Nebraska, New Hampshire, North Dakota, Oregon, Rhode Island, Utah, Vermont, Virginia, Washington, and Wyoming.
If you don’t live in one of those states, maybe don’t mimic his Instagram post this year.