Tennessee Senate passes bill broadening cell phone use while voting


NASHVILLE, Tenn. (WKRN) – The Tennessee Senate unanimously passed a bill Thursday that broadens the use of cell phones at polling centers.

The bill stems from the 2016 presidential election when Justin Timberlake, of Memphis, took a selfie while voting in Germantown, which is currently prohibited by Tennessee law.PREVIOUS: Justin Timberlake: ‘I had no idea’ voting selfie was illegal

The new bill ensures that a recording of a marked ballot, including selfies, would be prohibited only if it had been recorded in an effort to commit voter intimidation, voter fraud, or the sale of a vote.MORE: Justin Timberlake’s ballot selfie highlights mixed laws

“Sometimes citizens are waiting in long lines in hallways before they even reach the room with the voting machines,” said Senator Brian Kelsey. “We need to allow folks to call home about the grocery list while they are waiting.”

The Senate passed the bill 30-0. The bill now goes to the House of Representatives, where it is scheduled for a vote in the Local Government Committee on April 18.

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