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Timberlake in hot water over ballot selfie

AAP logoAAP 25/10/2016
US singer Justin Timberlake © Provided by AAP US singer Justin Timberlake

Pop star Justin Timberlake may have run afoul of Tennessee election law when he posted a photo of himself in a polling station on social media, the latest controversy over so-called ballot selfies.

Timberlake, 35, posted the photo on Monday and said in the caption that he had travelled from Los Angeles to his hometown of Memphis to take part in early voting ahead of the November 8 election.

"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.

The problem for Timberlake is that Tennessee law prohibits voters from recording or taking photographs or videos while inside a polling station.

The Shelby County, Tennessee district attorney's office said it was aware of a possible violation of state election law and was reviewing the matter.

A person convicted of the violation can be sentenced to up to 30 days in jail and fined $US50.

A representative for Timberlake did not respond to requests for comment.

The proliferation of mobile phone cameras and social media has created conflicts in states that have laws against the taking of 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 voting process.

District Attorney General Amy Weirich later said her office's statement that the matter was under review was "incorrect".

"No-one in our office is currently investigating this matter nor will we be using our limited resources to do so," she said.

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