Eric Trump tweeted out a picture that appeared to be of his filled out election ballot Tuesday morning — which is illegal to do in New York.
“It is in an incredible honor to vote for my father! He will do such a great job for the U. S.A.! #MakeAmericaGreatAgain,” the proud Trump scion tweeted shortly after 7 am, with a picture of a ballot that had been filled out with his father’s name.
But a Manhattan federal court judge ruled just last week that a 100-plus year old state law barring people from showing their completed ballots applies to people sharing pictures of them on social media.
“I’m glad to see Eric Trump engaged in our valued tradition of civil disobedience by showing his ballot on the internet. However, according to the federal court what he did was illegal and he could face up to one year in jail,” said lawyer Leo Glickman, who represented voters who’d challenged the law in a federal suit.
Trump could also be fined $1000.
“He should have conferred with me before posting his ballot,” Glickman said.
The lawyer added that while researching the law for the suit, he had not found any prosecutions against violators “in decades.”
The picture Trump tweeted does not show him in it so he might not have taken the picture himself, but another tweet sent soon after shows him and his wife outside of their East Side polling site. The ballot tweet was also removed after the Daily News inquired about the possible legal violation.
Glickman maintains it’s an outdated law and should be done away with.
“It’s our position the existence of the possibility of a prosecution chills free speech activity,” Glickman said.
A rep for the Trump campaign and a lawyer for the Trump Organization did not immediately respond to requests for comment.
In his Nov. 3 ruling, Judge Kevin Castel said it would be too chaotic to change the law for the 2016 election.
“A last-minute, judicially-imposed change in the protocol at 5,300 polling places would be a recipe for delays and a disorderly election, as well intentioned voters either took the perfectly posed selfie or struggled with their rarely used smartphone camera,” Castel said in his 16-page decision.
He said he also wasn’t sure the 126-year-old law should be changed.
While selfies can be “a potent form of speech presumptively entitled to First Amendment protections,” keeping ballots secret help protect against voter intimidation and bribery, he noted.
“The absence of recent evidence of this kind of voter bribery or intimidation does not mean that the motivation to engage in such conduct no longer exists. Rather, it is consistent with the continued effectiveness of the New York statute,” Castel wrote.
The state and city Board of Elections had argued that Castel should leave the law alone.
A rep for the state BOE referred a call for comment on the Trump tweet to their Enforcement Division, which declined comment. A rep for the city BOE did not immediately respond to a request for comment.