Residents voting in today’s Wakefield Council and European elections are being warned against taking selfies in the ballot booth.
Staff at polling stations have been told by the Electoral Commission that they should stop voters taking pictures of themselves on mobile phones and have been advised to put up ‘no photography’ signs.
The commission fears that pictures would be posted on social media, which could threaten the secrecy of the ballot. Taking a selfie in a polling station is not directly against the law - but it is a criminal offence to reveal how someone has voted or is about to vote.
The guidance issued by the commission states: “We have recently been asked about voters taking photos of themselves (‘selfies’) in polling stations and whether this is allowed.
“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.
“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.”
Polling stations are open until 10pm tonight.
The results of the Wakefield Council election will announced on Friday, May 23.
For full coverage of the results as they are announced visit our websites at www.wakefieldexpress.co.uk, www.pontefractandcastlefordexpress.co.uk and www.hemsworthandsouthelmsallexpress.co.uk
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A full round-up of the results from the elections will also be published in your Express.