"The statement released earlier today by my office regarding
Justin Timberlake and an investigation was incorrect and was
released without my knowledge," Shelby County District Attorney
General Amy Weirich said.
"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," she said.
A representative for Timberlake did not respond to requests for
The singer and actor appeared to have run afoul of Tennessee
election law when he posted the photo, the latest controversy
over so-called ballot selfies.
Timberlake, 35, posted the photo on Monday and said in the
caption he had traveled from Los Angeles to his hometown of
Memphis to take part in early voting ahead of the Nov. 8
"Get out and VOTE! #exerciseyourrighttovote," Timberlake said in
part of the photo's caption, which was posted on Instagram, a
social media site where he has over 37 million followers.
Tennessee law prohibits voters from recording or taking
photographs or videos inside a polling station.
The Shelby County district attorney's office had said on Tuesday
it was aware of a possible violation of state election law and
was reviewing the matter, before clarifying that the original
statement was incorrect.
A person convicted of the violation can be sentenced to up to 30
days in jail and fined $50, the office said previously.
The proliferation of cellphone cameras and social media has
created conflicts in states that have laws against taking photos
inside polling booths and sharing photos of marked ballots.
The laws, which in some cases predate the social media age, are
intended to prevent voter intimidation and any slowing of the
On Monday, a federal court sided with a Michigan man who said
the law there banning voters from taking pictures of their
marked ballots and sharing them on social media violated his
constitutional right to free speech. The court halted
enforcement of the law.
In Colorado, two voters filed a federal lawsuit on Monday
seeking to overturn a state law there that criminalized the
showing of a completed ballot to others, arguing that the ban
(Reporting by Rory Carroll in San Francisco; Additional
reporting by Piya Sinha-Roy in Los Angeles; Editing by G Crosse
and Peter Cooney)
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