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Selfies in the polling booth are a bad idea, says Department

Consider yourselves warned… Yes, that includes you, Taoiseach.
May 22nd 2014, 11:40 AM 14,975 20

IT’S PROBABLY NOT a good idea to take a ‘selfie’ in the polling station when you head to vote tomorrow.

A spokesperson for the Department of the Environment said taking a photo as you vote could be breach of the secrecy of the voting process.

The Department’s highlighting this section of the relevant legislation, before the polls open tomorrow at 7am…

Section 106(4) of the European Parliament Elections Act 1997 and Regulation 98(4) of the Local Elections Regulations 1995 provide that it is an offence to breach the secrecy of the ballot.

It follows a warning to UK voters yesterday from the Electoral Commission, which said that anyone who inadvertantly reveals how someone else votes in the European or local elections could face a fine of £5,000 or six months in prison.

Staff at polling stations there have been urged to put up ‘no photography’ signs.

“We have told staff that if they see anyone taking a photograph they should ask the person to delete it but not try to wrestle the phone out of their hands,” an electoral services manager at an East of England local authority told the BBC.

The practise has gained popularity in recent months, with even the likes of Barack Obama (and Michelle) Obama getting involved.

It seems the political selfie has also become an essential aspect of any Irish political gathering.

Read: 7 top tips for taking the perfect political selfie

Read: The Pope is OK with selfies

Look: 14 outrageous selfies that prove selfies need to stop

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Daragh Brophy

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