Northern Ireland

Can I take a selfie at the voting booth? What you can and can’t do in a polling station

An election etiquette guide for the 2024 Westminster election

There are two days left of General Election campaigning
Polling stations will be open from 7am to 10pm on July 4. (Yui Mok/PA)

With the Westminster election soon upon us, here’s everything you need to know about what you can and can’t do inside the polling station on July 4.

Can I take a selfie inside the polling station?

No, all photography is banned inside polling stations.

This is because any photos taken inside might accidentally reveal how someone has voted and would break laws surrounding ballot secrecy.

However, the Electoral Commission says that voters are “more than welcome” to take photos outside the polling station – sharing them on social media may even encourage your friends and family to vote.

Can I vote without my polling card?

Yes, you can vote without your polling card. However, you will need to have photographic ID to vote on July 4.

The latest poll puts support for the SNP at 34%
You do not need to bring your polling card in order to vote, but you will need photographic ID. (Rui Vieira/PA)

If your ID is expired, it can still be used provided that it is an acceptable form of ID and the photograph still looks like you.

It’s probably best to avoid using ID that has a photograph from a long time ago.

Can I bring my child?

Yes, you are allowed to bring your child along with you to the polling station.

They can accompany you at the voting booth, but you should not allow them to mark your paper for you.

Can I post how I voted on social media?

Yes, you can – but the Electoral Commission advises against doing this from inside the polling station.

Political discussion is not allowed inside the polling station and so it’s probably best to avoid doing so until outside.

Can I campaign for a party or candidate inside the polling station?

No, it is an offence to influence someone to vote in a particular way.

Campaigning is allowed on election day, but it should not take place inside the polling station.

Any campaigning outside must not block entrances.