The First Amendment to the U.S. Constitution protects citizens from government encroachment on speech. The First Amendment also protects the right to form political parties. States are permitted, however, to regulate elections by enacting “reasonable regulations of parties, elections, and ballots.” Depending on the nature of the restriction, courts will either apply strict or intermediate scrutiny to determine the constitutionality of a state statute attempting to regulate elections.
This Note explores the history of vote buying and voter coercion as it relates to the First Amendment protection of the right to free speech. This Note also analyzes and addresses the main arguments against ballot selfies, and proffers that states should harness the power of social media in political campaigns in an effort to inform the electorate.