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Selfies banned in poll booths

IT'S the craze that has swept social media.

But staff at polling stations are being advised to stop people taking "selfies" inside voting booths to prevent them being prosecuted.

The Electoral Commission believe the craze of people taking photos of themselves 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.

According to Section 66 of the Representation of the People Act it is a criminal offence to reveal how someone has voted or to communicate the unique serial number on a ballot paper.

In its guidelines to election staff, the Electoral Commission said: "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 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 £5000 fine or up to six months in prison. Local authority officials say the biggest concern is voters taking selfies and then uploading them to sites like Facebook.

Contextual targeting label: 
Local government

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