European Parliament Election 2014: Don't take selfies in the polling station or you could face prison time

Polling staff have genuinely been trained in what a selfie is

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The Independent Online

The selfie, the self-taken photograph and scourge of 21st century discourse, is now enough of a thing that the Electoral Commission has felt the need to issue a warning to those voting in the European Parliament and local elections that taking one in a polling booth could result in hefty fines or prison time.

It is a criminal offence under Section 66 of the Representation of the People's Act to communicate information about the way someone has voted or is about to, and the EC are concerned that people might try and take photos of their grinning faces next to ballot papers with checked boxes.

Staff at polling station have been urged to put up 'no photography' signs, according to the BBC, and some have even received training in what a selfie is (seriously), and what to do if they spot someone taking one.

Anyone who reveals how someone else votes in today's local and European elections could face a £5,000 fine or six months in prison.

"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 said.


"It would depend on exactly what they were taking a photograph of. We have told them to take a note of the names and addresses of anyone doing it. But we would not necessarily call the police."

Voting takes place between 07:00 BST and 22:00 BST today and you can find out where your nearest polling station is here.