Polling staff told to stop people taking selfies

Polling staff told to stop people taking selfies

Electoral Commission believes selfies could reveal how someone has voted in this week’s local and European elections.

Staff at polling stations have been advised to stop people taking selfies inside voting booths to prevent them being prosecuted.

The Electoral Commission believes the latest craze of taking photos of yourself on a smartphone, which has been embraced by David Cameron and Barack Obama, could inadvertently reveal how someone has voted in this week’s local and European elections.

Accing to Section 66 of the Representation of the People Act it is a criminal offence to reveal how someone has voted or will vote, as well as to communicate the unique serial number on a ballot paper.

In sending out guidelines to election staff, the Electoral Commission said: “The law relating to obtaining information in polling stations and disclosing such information is complex.

“Given the risk that someone taking a photo inside a polling station may be in breach of the law, whether intentionally or not, our advice is that you should not allow photos to be taken inside polling stations.”

Anyone who is found to be in breach of the law could face a £5,000 fine or up to six months in prison. Local authority officials say the biggest concern is voters taking selfies and then uploading them to social networks such as Facebook without realising the image could contain sensitive information.

  • theguardian.com, 

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