Voters in today's European and council elections who tweet photos of their ballot papers could face large fines and even jail time, the Electoral Commission has warned.


Image: Wikimedia Commons

It stresses that voters who post photos of themselves with their ballot papers could find themselves breaching vote secrecy laws.

In a letter to all returning officers, the Commission advised that photography is not permitted at polling stations lest people inadvertently reveal how someone else has voted.

To reveal how another person has voted is deemed a criminal offence under Section 66 of the Representation of the People Act.

Such a crime could incur a penalty of £5000 or even up to six months in prison.

It has been suggested, however, that allowing people to take photos in voting booths could encourage young people to vote.

Katie Ghose, chief executive of the Electoral Reform Society, said, ‘Of course, it’s vital that people’s privacy isn’t invaded in the polling booth. But selfies could be a fun addition to the voting day ritual, especially for young people who are least likely to vote.’