Justin Timberlake’s commendable attempt at encouraging voting has run afoul of a new law in his native Tennessee.
“Hey! You! Yeah, YOU! I just flew from LA to Memphis to #rockthevote!!!” the singer-actor, 35, posted on Instagram on Monday, captioning a selfie of himself at a voting machine in a polling station where early voting is underway. “No excuses, my good people!” he continued. “There could be early voting in your town too. If not, November 8th! Choose to have a voice! If you don’t, then we can’t HEAR YOU! Get out and VOTE! #excerciseyourrighttovote.”
However, a state law passed last year that went into effect this January specifies that while “a mobile electronic or communication device” may be used at a polling place “for informational purposes to assist the voter in making election decisions,” citizens are “prohibited from using the device for telephone conversations, recording, or taking photographs or videos while inside the polling place.”
A representative of the Shelby County District Attorney’s Office told TMZ.com on Tuesday that the Timberlake selfie is “under review.” While the text of the law does not specify, TMZ said violators can face a 30-day jail sentence and a $50 fine.
Other early voters and even two school board candidates posed for photos with Timberlake outside the polling station in New Bethel Missionary Baptist Church, in the affluent suburb of Germantown, the Memphis newspaper The Commercial Appeal reported.
“You never know who you will see at the Polls! Justin Timberlake!!” candidate Suzanne Jones captioned her Facebook photo with the nine-time Grammy Award winner. She told the paper, “As soon as he walked out, people started taking pictures and we could see that it was him. I said, ‘I know you’ve done it a lot, but I’d appreciate a picture with you.’ Someone was going to take it for me. But he said, ‘No, I can take it. I do have gorilla arms, since I do this a lot.’ ”