Is it already election day?

The Electoral Commission is clamping down on selfies in polling booths:

The Electoral Commission is putting up signs to prevent voters from taking selfies in polling booths.

Warnings about social media use during the election period have fallen on deaf ears as constituents continue to upload photos of themselves and their ballot papers.

Now the commission says it has had to produce signs banning photography from inside the voting place.

Chief electoral officer Robert Peden said photography in polling booths had been allowed only with the permission of the returning officer, but the number of photos being taken without permission had increased “hugely” this year. . . .

“The increased interest in voters taking selfies inside voting places raises concerns about congestion and disturbance in voting places and can breach other rules in the Electoral Act regarding campaigning on election day and protecting the secrecy of voting,” Peden said.

The Electoral Act says it is against the law to distribute anything purporting to be an imitation of a ballot paper on election day or in the three days leading up to it. . .

If voting has already started is it already Election Day or do we now have Election fortnight and a half?

The freedom loving part of me thinks the law is a bit outdated here.

Advance voting has been high and posting selfies on social media might have played a part in encouraging others to vote.

But I can see that if people are queuing to vote, the extra time for selfies from lots of people adds up and could cause congestion.

There is also the paramount issue of secrecy.

The  risk that people could coerce others to take selfies of their ballot paper in order to prove they voted the way the coercer wanted might be slight but even one instance of that would be one too many.

One Response to Is it already election day?

  1. Neil says:

    I agree that photographs should not be taken in the polling booth. I gather that during NZQA exams in November no unauthorised person may enter the exam room. Is there any difference with a polling booth ? Secrecy and confidence is the name of the game.
    It annoys me to see party leaders putting their votes into the imposing cardboard polling box while peering into the lens of a camera.
    Some journos actually ask that leader how they voted !!!!!
    A bit more respect seems to be needed.


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