Tuesday will be the first New Hampshire election in which it is legal to take a ballot selfie –  to shoot a picture of your completed ballot inside the voting booth and share it online. All well and good, but that poses a potential problem from pushy relatives, co-workers or friends who expect you to share their political leanings.

In past elections you could nod and pretend to agree with them, because life is too short to argue about politics. This year, however, they might want to see evidence you’ve voted for their preferred choice. How do you keep them quiet without giving up  the freedom to follow your conscience in the voting booth?

Fake it!

You can learn the secret of my patented Ballot Selfie Faking Procedure just by watching this video. (OK, so it’s not actually patented – you know what I mean.)

Bring electric tape, a knife and a note card if you want to play along.

Incidentally, I’m taking a light tone but this isn’t entirely a laughing matter. Opposition to ballot selfies is based on fear that they can lead to exactly this sort of pressure on voters, undermining the sanctity of the voting booth. Poke around the Internet and you’ll find plenty of evidence from more dangerous parts of the world, where elections are a sham, that this coercison happens, with gangs or governments forcing people to show ballot pictures as proof of loyalty.

Happily for us, faking our ballot selfies is all for fun. For the time being, at least.

(Comments or queries, email me at dbrooks@cmonitor.com – you can subscribe to this newsletter at bit.ly/monitornewsletters)

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