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Election 2017: Is it illegal to take a selfie while voting in a polling station?

PUBLISHED: 11:07 08 June 2017 | UPDATED: 11:07 08 June 2017

Evie the dog waits outside the Brooke village polling station. Photo: Nick Butcher

Evie the dog waits outside the Brooke village polling station. Photo: Nick Butcher

Archant © 2017

There’s nothing in the law that specifically bans taking selfies or photos for that matter.

But the Electoral Commission very strongly discourages any photography inside a polling station because of complex laws about maintaining the secrecy of the ballot which is set out in section 66 of the Representation of the People Act.

Those working in polling stations are required to make sure voting remains secret and an Instagram ready selfie inside the voting booth may inadvertently reveal the identity of other people voting, how they have voted, or ballot paper’s unique identification number.

MORE: Election 2017: 35 reasons why everyone in Norfolk must get out and vote

The Electoral Commission has said “Due to the potential breach of the law, intentionally or not, we strongly advise against any form of photography taken inside a polling station.

“If a voter would like to highlight their participation in the elections, we suggest this is done outside the polling station before or after they vote.”

So that means for all you dog owners that means pictures of your pooches are fine and #dogsatpollingstations usually trends on Twitter during polling day.

MORE: Election 2017: Norfolk and Waveney head to the polls

There are strict penalties for breaches of the law and potential penalties include a fine of £5,000 or up to six months in prison for revealing how someone else voted.

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