Science & technology
Polling booth selfies sweep Netherlands
Publish Date: Mar 20, 2014
Polling booth selfies sweep Netherlands
Dutch Democrats 66 party (D66) leader Alexander Pechtold makes a selfie after he casts his ballot. PHOTO BY AFP
  • mail
  • img
newvision

THE HAGUE- Dutch citizens and politicians united on Wednesday in posting voting booth selfie photos, an increasingly popular phenomenon that could threaten the principle of the secret ballot but also encourages people to vote.
 
Alexander Pechtold, who heads the centrist D66 party, was among the many Dutch voting in Wednesday's local elections who tweeted a #stemfie, a combination of "stemmen", the Dutch word for voting, and selfie.
 
The photos, often of voters posing with the red pencil used to make their democratic choice or the candidate list, spread over Twitter, Instagram and Facebook, with the #stemfie hashtag trending.
 
Interior Minister Ronald Plasterk tweeted: "I'm not calling on people to take a #stemfie, but it is allowed."
 
"You cannot affect the confidentiality of the voting process by taking pictures of other people, but if you want to take a photo of yourself, you can," Plasterk told Dutch television channel RTL.
 
The phenomenon of the polling booth selfie is sweeping the world, forcing countries to take a position.
 
Some US states forbid polling booth selfies, some allow it, while it is expressly forbidden in South Africa and the Philippines.
 
"We had quite a few questions from municipalities in the run-up to the elections about whether selfies were allowed in the voting booth, because selfies are in fashion," interior ministry spokesman Tijs Manten told AFP.
 
"We looked at the electoral law and there was nothing saying we should forbid it: as long as people are just taking a photo of themselves and no one else, as long as people's right to cast a vote in secret is respected and voting procedures are not disturbed, there's no problem," Manten said.
 
The interior ministry in January sent a memo to municipalities informing them that 'stemfies' were officially authorised.
 
"We thought it could even be a good way of getting people to go out and vote," said Manten.
 
AFP
 

The statements, comments, or opinions expressed through the use of New Vision Online are those of their respective authors, who are solely responsible for them, and do not necessarily represent the views held by the staff and management of New Vision Online.

New Vision Online reserves the right to moderate, publish or delete a post without warning or consultation with the author.Find out why we moderate comments. For any questions please contact digital@newvision.co.ug

  • mail
  • img
blog comments powered by Disqus
Also In This Section
Samsung unveils new smartwatch to challenge Apple Watch
Samsung unveiled its latest smartwatch on Tuesday as the South Korean tech giant seeks to challenge Apple's global domination in the fast-growing wearable device market....
Google changes logo to better suit mobile devices
Google on Tuesday refreshed its logo to better suit mobile devices that are supplanting desktop computers when it comes to modern Internet lifestyles....
Alcatel-Lucent chief defends 14-mn-euro payout
The head of telecoms equipment maker Alcatel-Lucent rejected government pressure Monday to renounce bonuses which could see him receive around 14 million euros ($15.7 million) as part of its buyout by rival Nokia....
Apple partners to boost business use of iPads-iPhones
Apple and computer network titan Cisco on Monday announced a partnership aimed at putting more iPhones and iPads to work at businesses....
One year and counting: Mars isolation experiment begins
Six people shut themselves inside a dome for a year in Hawaii on Friday, in the longest US isolation experiment aimed at helping NASA prepare for a pioneering journey to Mars....
Key Apple music exec steps down
A key executive for Apple's music service who came to the US tech giant with its acquisition of Beats has left the company, Apple said Friday....
Are poor parliamentary debates a result of removal of school debates?
Yes
No
Can't Say
follow us
subscribe to our news letter