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What you can and cannot do at a polling station

Everyone knows what you do at a polling station – you vote. But what about the other rules that govern their behavior. Here we reveal what you can and cannot do in today’s local elections. You better take note or you could end up in jail …

Can you take a selfie?

Although there is no law against them, beware, the Election Commission advises you to take your photos outside the polling station due to laws on maintaining the secrecy of the ballot.

How would a selfie affect the secrecy of the ballot?

You might accidentally reveal how someone voted with a selfie. In addition, taking a photo of the unique identification number of a ballot is against the rules. People face a fine of £ 5,000 or six months in prison if they reveal how someone else voted, even accidentally.

Can you tweet about the vote?

The EC cautions against doing this inside the polling station as well, even if it is your own vote, for the same reason as above. And there are strict laws against disclosing someone else’s vote through a tweet or any other way. This contravenes the Law on the Representation of the People and constitutes a criminal offense.

Can I bring a pet?

You can take a dog as long as it does not interfere with the vote. Some voters in the sticks are known to ride to their polls on horseback – but leave it outside, of course.

Can I vote if I have been drinking?

Yes, you can, because polling station staff cannot refuse a voter just because they are drunk or under the influence of drugs. It is only if the voter is disruptive that they will be asked to come back after sobering up.

If I make a mistake. Can I vote again?

Yes, provided you have not already displayed your ballot in the ballot box. Go back to the office and tell the staff what happened. They can cancel your ballot and give you a new one.