Nova Scotia Voter in Hot Water Over Photograph of Ballot

Nova Scotia blogger Parker Donham has found himself under the scrutiny of Elections Nova Scotia after he posted a photograph of his ballot on his Twitter account today:

I voted today. Here’s how:

— Parker Donham (@kempthead) October 5, 2013

Elections Nova Scotia promptly responded to Mr. Donham’s tweet, informing him that the tweet had been referred to the RCMP, as it appears to be a contravention of section 301(b) of the Elections Act (Nova Scotia). According to this section, every person is guilty of an offence who shows the person’s ballot to permit the name of the candidate, for whom the person has voted, to be known.

The twitter conservation over the ballot photo continued when Dartmouth Centre Liberal Party candidate Bryn Jones-Vaillancourt added his opinion that individuals have the right to take photographs of their ballots. While valid as opinions go, this is clearly not permitted by the law.

We will see where this business over a photographed ballot lands Mr. Donham; it is possible that yet another compliance agreement will be entered into by the busy folks at Elections Nova Scotia.

The lesson here for all of us: if you want to tell people how you voted, that is your right and you can go ahead tell everyone. But don’t show, just tell.

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