Houghton County adding ‘selfie stations’ for primary

Garrett Neese/Daily Mining Gazette Banners from Dollar Bay-Tamarack City Area Schools students, seen displayed in the Houghton County Courthouse, will go up in selfie stations at precincts in Osceola Township.

HOUGHTON — For many, almost as important as voting is letting people know about it immediately.

During Michigan elections, people can’t take photos of themselves within the voting area. Selfie stations are emerging as a compromise.

Houghton County Clerk Jennifer Kelly reached out to local school districts to make posters for selfie stations, which will be displayed at local precincts.

Local clerks backed the idea, Kelly said.

“Instead of the voters taking a picture with their ballot, hopefully they’ll take a picture with the art,” she said.

Photo provided by Jennifer Kelly Students at Elm River Schools display a selfie banner they and other students made that will be displayed at the township’s voting precinct on Election Day. School districts throughout Houghton County were asked to make banners for selfie stations, where people can take election selfies without violating state law.

If students make multiple banners, precincts can alternate, Kelly said. If they make one per precinct, it will stay there unless the school decides it needs it back.

“Then we’ll keep it there until maybe a new class makes one,” she said.

Ann Arbor introduced selfie stations in November. St. Clair Shores and Lansing are following suit for the primary.

Michigan voters were barred from taking photos of their ballots prior to a 2019 settlement of a federal suit against the restrictions.

Other prohibitions remain, including selfies in the voting booth or voting area, taking other photographs in the voting area or sharing images of a filled-out ballot within 100 feet of a polling place.


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