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It's Actually Illegal To Take A Selfie With Your Election Ballot So Don't Do It

Elections Canada wants people to stop taking selfies at the polls.
Trending Senior Staff Writer
It's Actually Illegal To Take A Selfie With Your Election Ballot So Don't Do It

There are lots of rules surrounding elections and what voters can and can't do while voting. Taking selfies while voting in Canada is against the law. So while you're filling out your ballot on election day hold off on the selfie until you're outside. 

It can be exciting to vote and many people want to show others that they're doing their civic duty. But Elections Canada is warning Canadians that taking a picture of any marked ballot is illegal because it violates the Canada Elections Act. 

If you're voting and excited to share it on social media and really want to take a selfie, either do it before you go inside the polling stations with one of those yellow vote signs in the background or do it after you've voted and left the poll.  

"The rationale is that we don’t want people taking pictures of themselves voting in a particular way. It’s an integrity risk around coercion et cetera. So you can’t take pictures within the polls," Lisa Drouillard, director of outreach and stakeholder engagement for Elections Canada, told Global News

The Canada Elections Act guarantees that the vote remains a secret so taking a photo of a ballot that's been marked violates that secrecy. 

According to the Act, you can't "take a photograph or make a video recording of a ballot or special ballot that has been marked, at an election, by an elector."

You also can't share that picture because publishing a photo of a marked ballot, even on social media, is also a violation of the Act.

So your best bet is to just not take your phone out while you're in the polling station just to be safe. It might be hard to be away from your phone for a couple of minutes but resist the urge!

There is an exception to this rule for people who are visually impaired as they can take a photo or video of their ballot to get the accuracy of the ballot verified.

"You can’t take a selfie until you get out of the polling station," said Drouillard. "Outside the polling station, they’re fine to go."

Instead of taking a selfie in the polling station with your ballot, snap a shot of that post-vote feeling outside of the polling station this Monday, October 21. 

There are stories everywhere. If you spot a newsworthy event in your city, send us a message, photo, or video @NarcityCanada on Twitter and Instagram.

    Lisa Belmonte
    Trending Senior Staff Writer
    Lisa Belmonte is a Senior Staff Writer for Narcity Canada’s Trending Desk focused on government of Canada jobs and is based in Ontario.
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