Rideout v. Gardner, No. 15-2021 (1st Cir. 2016)Annotate this Case
In 2014, New Hampshire amended a statute by forbidding citizens from photographing their marked ballots and publicizing those photographs (referred to as “ballot selfies”). Three New Hampshire citizens filed suit, arguing that the statute was a content-based restriction of speech that, on its face, violates the First Amendment. The district court ruled in favor of the plaintiffs. On appeal, the New Hampshire Secretary of State argued that the statute was justified to prevent vote buying and voter intimidation. The First Circuit affirmed, holding that the statute as amended is facially unconstitutional even applying only intermediate scrutiny, and the statute’s purposes cannot justify the restrictions it imposes on speech.