In the run up to the European and local elections, the Electoral Commission has issued guidance to election officials about the potential issue of voters taking “selfies” with their completed ballot papers in polling stations.

The advice comes are election selfies gained popularity in the Netherlands, where voters have posted pictures of themselves with completed ballot papers on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.

But the Commission warned election selfies are illegal in the UK and could result in a fine of up to £5,000 or a maximum 6-month prison sentence, as set out in section 66 of the Representation of the People Act 1983.

According to the Electoral Commission, the application of the law is complicated and whether or not an offence has been committed would depend on a number of factors, including if the photograph was shared with others and what the photograph showed.

The Commission has advised election officials and staff that photos should not be taken in polling stations and that they should also consider displaying notices to this effect.

James Roochove, a solicitor with Manleys (a specialist media and litigation firm with offices in London) said: “This raises some practical issues, given that the polling booth should be private and secret.

"Any attempts by election staff to see if people are taking photos in the booth could itself be deemed a secrecy breach.

"It seems more likely that the authorities may spot photos posted online and those involved could be punished.”

What do you think? Should we be allowed to take pictures of our ballots? Leave you comments below.

>> Check out our Election 2014 coverage, with information about candidates

>> If you are definitely not voting on May 22, check out our excuse generator!