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
Profit squeezed at Sweden
Swedish telecoms equipment maker Ericsson reported a decline in net profit in the third quarter despite an increase in sales, boosted by business in emerging markets....
Microsoft drops Nokia name from smartphones
Microsoft said it was dropping the Nokia name from its Lumia smartphones, rebranding following the acquisition earlier this year of the Finnish group's handset division....
$100 mn Ebola pledge from Microsoft co-founder Allen
Microsoft co-founder and philanthropist Paul Allen said he was boosting his donations to combat the Ebola outbreak in West Africa to $100 million....
Toyota shares rise on record profit report
Shares in Japanese auto giant Toyota advanced in Tokyo trade on Friday following a report it is set to book a record operating profit in the six-month period to September....
Lufthansa close to deal with IBM for IT infrastructure unit
German airline Lufthansa is close to a deal to sell its IT infrastructure unit to IBM, including an outsourcing agreement for the services, as part of a shake-up of its technology activities, it said on Wednesday....
Google launches new email service dubbed
Google has launched an email service called "Inbox" on Wednesday that will better organize emails and display information such as appointments, flight bookings and package deliveries in a more user-friendly way....
Should diplomatic passports issued to ex-govt workers be with drawn?
Yes
No
Can't Say
follow us
subscribe to our news letter