03:37 - Source: CNN
Trump on top in new polls from Iowa, New Hampshire
Washington CNN —  

In New Hampshire, you are free to take your voting booth “ballot selfie” once again.

U.S. District Court Judge Paul Barbadoro reversed a state law on Tuesday that banned voters from posting pictures of completed ballots online, saying it squelches free speech and is unnecessary in terms of preventing election fraud.

The American Civil Liberties Union in New Hampshire praised the ruling after bringing the case on behalf of three people who were investigated after posting ballot photos.

“Today’s decision is a victory for the First Amendment,” Gilles Bissonnette, legal director of the ACLU-NH, said in a statement. “Political speech is essential to a functioning democracy. The First Amendment does not allow the state to, as it was doing here, broadly ban innocent political speech with the hope that such a sweeping ban would address underlying criminal conduct.”

Lawyers acknowledged that there are no cases of vote-buying or coercion in New Hampshire, a concern when the ban was initially put in place.

Initial lawmakers feared that someone who wanted to coerce voters could demand that people show their ballots to confirm that they voted a certain way. Assistant Attorney General Stephen LaBonte feared that social media and other technology would be used for voter fraud.

When the law passed, posting a photo of a complete ballot was punishable by a fine of up to $1,000.