DA: We will not investigate Timberlake's voting selfie
MEMPHIS, TN (WMC) - Shelby County District Attorney's Office said Justin Timberlake's voting booth selfie will not be investigated or prosecuted.
The DA's office said Tuesday morning it was investigating the photo superstar entertainer Justin Timberlake took while voting in Memphis on Monday.
However, later Tuesday District Attorney Amy Weirich released a statement saying that her office would not be investigating the viral picture. She also explained how the confusion about the picture happened.
"The statement released earlier today by my office regarding Justin Timberlake and an investigation was incorrect and was released without my knowledge," Shelby County Dist. Atty. Gen. Amy Weirich said Tuesday. "I am out of town at a conference. No one in our office is currently investigating this matter nor will we be using our limited resources to do so."
The picture in question shows Timberlake voting at one of Memphis' electronic voting booths.
Tennessee laws state that voters can use their phones while voting, but only if those phones are being used for informational purposes. Pictures are not allowed in the voting booths.
Violators can face up to 30 days in jail and a $50 fine.
Linda Phillips from the Shelby County Voting Commission said the law was put on the books for a good reason several years ago.
"Historically you've never been permitted to take photographs of ballots, because unscrupulous politicians have in years past been known to exchange money for proof that you voted for them," Phillips said.
Timberlake's selfie gained more than 458,000 likes on Instagram and was meant to inspire his fans to go out and vote.
So far in Shelby County, voters have been turning out in large numbers.
The Shelby County Election commission said early voting has seen record turnout on 5 of the 6 days polls have been open. Tuesday, they voted to extend early voting hours. Polls will now open at 9 a.m. starting on Thursday.
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