Per Rick Hasen’s election law blog, I see that those endlessly inventive folks in Wisconsin are contemplating allowing cameras into polling places in order to, you know, check up on what the voters are doing.
The policy reasons for excluding cameras, tape recorders, and other recording devices from the sacrosanct confines of the polls are many and obvious. For one thing, it’s certainly creepy and intimidating to allow someone to watch a voter as they vote – whatever happened to ballot secrecy? If voters are watched, it makes it easier for bad guys to threaten voters. To be fair, the policy analysts who were asked to draft the proposed law have pointed out that they think admission of cameras to the polls is not a good thing. But this is Wisconsin we’re talking about – the Republican majority under Governor Walker has already displayed a propensity for embracing bad ideas when it comes to voting restrictions.
There’s been no corresponding push to let cameras into Texas polling places, for which I’m grateful. And Texas law currently imposes strict prohibitions against such intrusions into the peace and quiet of the polling place. Tex. Elec. Code Section 61.014.