The elusive street artist Banksy is offering a free print to anyone who votes against the Conservatives. The artwork, which is also on Banksy’s Instagram page, depicts his iconic “girl with a balloon” motif, this time with a Union Jack in the balloon. The instructions states; take a photo on your phone of the ballot and send it in and a free print will be posted to you. This could contravene laws designed to ensure votes remain secret and could break rules against bribery.
“It’s illegal to offer money or gifts to voters, directly or indirectly” – Crimestoppers
From the Banksy website: An exclusive new Banksy print will be released on the 9th June. This limited edition artwork on archival quality paper is completely free but is only available to registered voters in the Bristol North West, Bristol West, North Somerset, Thornbury, Kingswood and Filton constituencies. Simply send in a photo of your ballot paper from polling day showing you voted against the Conservative candidate and this complimentary gift will be mailed to you.
Lawyers state that under Section 66 of the Representation of the People’s Act it is a criminal offense to “induce a voter to display his ballot paper after he has marked it so as to make known to any person the name of the candidate for whom he has or has not voted”. It is also illegal to show the paper’s unique identification number.
An Electoral Commission spokesman said: “Given the risk that someone taking a photo inside a polling station may be in breach of the law, whether intentionally or not, the commission’s advice is against taking any photos inside polling stations.”
Crimestoppers, which is working with the Electoral Commission to combat fraud, warns on its website: “It’s illegal to offer money or gifts to voters, directly or indirectly, to get someone to vote a certain way, or not to vote at all.”
Lawyer’s note: this print is a souvenir piece of campaign material, it is in no way meant to influence the choices of the electorate, has no monetary value, is for amusement purposes only and is strictly not for resale. Terms and conditions to follow, postage not included.
An Avon and Somerset Police spokesman said: “At this time, we’ve not received any complaints regarding this.”