Political

Electoral Commission says: no polling station selfies here

I’ve blogged before about the fashion for electoral selfies in Holland, with people taking photos of themselves at polling stations.

As I said then:

There are some secrecy rules in Britain which could effect selfies (such as regarding the official mark, exit polls and the reference to how voters shall “secretly mark his paper”).

The Electoral Commission has decided to urge caution in the UK when it comes to taking selfies inside polling stations:

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.

Although taking a cautious attitude is sensible when the law is complicated, the Electoral Commission recommends that Returning Officers go a little bit further and make unequivocal statements that photography is banned:

You should ensure that all polling station staff are aware of this guidance. You might also want to consider displaying a notice inside polling stations to make clear that photography of any kind (including photos taken on mobile phones) is not permitted.

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