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
Microsoft gives peek at coming Windows 10 software
Microsoft has offered its first glimpse of its Windows 10 software that it hopes delivers a winning formula for powering tablets and smartphones, along with laptops and desktop computers....
Samsung rejects claims of Galaxy Note defect
Samsung has rejected claims that its new oversized smartphone had a defect, after some customers posted pictures of a gap between the frame and display panel....
Microsoft to tap $2-trillion Indian cloud market
Microsoft announced plans Tuesday to offer its commercial cloud services from Indian data centres as it seeks to tap what it calls a $2-trillion market in the country where Internet use is growing rapidly....
China clears way for Apple iPhone 6 sales: regulator
China has cleared the way for Apple to sell its latest iPhones in the key market by granting it a licence, the industry regulator said Tuesday, after the US giant agreed to improve the security of users'' personal details....
Whistleblower phone application seeks to outsmart corruption in Uganda...
Up to half of Earth
Up to half the water on Earth is likely older than the solar system, raising the likelihood that life exists elsewhere in the galaxy, according to a study Thursday....
Will police's move to increase the number of investigators help deal with fraud?
Yes
No
Can't Say
follow us
subscribe to our news letter