It’s definitely a sign of the times.
Elections Canada, on its website elections.ca, is warning voters heading into the Oct. 21 federal election to not take “selfies” with their ballots, as it is against the law to do so.
“Taking a picture of a marked ballot – yours or anyone else’s – is illegal because it violates the secrecy of the vote under the Canada Elections Act,” Elections Canada states.
“It’s also a violation of the Act to publish a photo of a marked ballot in any way, including on social media.”
Such an advisory will seem more than strange to some – particularly older voters – but the urge to take a photo of one’s self voting will likely represent a serious temptation to the many Canadians who pathologically document every second of their life on social media, be it the coffee they’re sipping on, the meal they are tucking into, the concert they are “experiencing,” or whatever.
It is truly unfortunate that people actually need to be reminded that there are moments in life when you should put your phone down and smell the coffee, without having to compulsively document the event or texting others about it. Such moments include doing your civic duty, by voting.
Imagine, there is actually a Wikipedia page dedicated to “Ballot selfie.”
Of course it’s important to live in the moment and sometimes consign memories to your mind’s eye rather than view your life through the confines of a digital screen.
Don’t be that Canadian voter who gets prosecuted for taking a ballot selfie.
It’s a hassle nobody needs.