Don’t tweet your U.K. ballot—doing so is a crime

Think before you tweet.


Ned Donovan


Published May 22, 2014   Updated May 31, 2021, 6:43 am CDT

While the fear over voting-booth selfies during Thursday’s Local and European Elections was mostly exaggerated, there is a real danger lurking inside polling stations for British voters: Sharing photos of completed ballots—something many appear keen to do—is against U.K. law. The Register reports that under various parts of Section 66 of the Representation of the People Act 1983, it is an offence to make public someone’s vote after a mark has been made on the paper.

Many citizens don’t appear to have realised this and have proudly been indicating who they have voted for on Twitter.

The punishment for this offence, up to six months imprisonment and a £5,000 fine. So think before you tweet, because sharing photos like these could land you in a sea of trouble.

If you live in the Netherlands, on the other hand, you’re welcome to take as many selfies as you want.

In Netherlands #EP2014 #stemfie like @SVeraart is fine – UK voting #selfie is illegal

— Ashok Ahir (@ashokahir) May 22, 2014

Update: We have replaced embedded tweets that are potentially in violation of U.K. law with screenshots, and obscured names and Twitter handles. 

H/T The Register | Photo via Peter aka anemoneprojectors/Flickr (CC BY-SA 2.0)

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*First Published: May 22, 2014, 9:14 am CDT