HEADING out to cast your vote in the election? Here's some advice to keep you on the right side of the law. 

With the rise of the selfie and pet lovers joining the #dogsatpollingstations trend, what are the rules at polling stations and what CAN'T you do?

Here are a few to consider.

Swindon Advertiser:

Am I allowed to take a selfie?

There is nothing legally stopping you from taking pictures, although the Electoral Commission strongly discourages it as you could potentially reveal the details of somebody else's vote.

If you do reveal how someone else has voted you can be fined up to £5,000 or face six months in prison.

The law on releasing any information 'obtained in a polling station' includes a person's unique ballot number.

So best to stay safe and keep that selfie for outside the polling station.

Swindon Advertiser:

pic. Jenny Clark

#dogsatpollingstations - Voters started the trend of sharing their pet pictures while heading out to polling stations.

This is perfectly in line with the rules - and in fact any pet is permitted to join you for the vote as long as they are behaved.

The Electoral Commission does advise that voters may be asked to leave their pets outside, unless they are a guide dog.

Children are also allowed to join you in the polling station as long as they behave also and do not touch your ballot paper.

Am I allowed to tell people how I voted?

The Electoral Commission advises against broadcasting your vote by tweeting from inside the polling station.

Otherwise you are free to publicise your vote as you wish, just don't reveal anyone else's vote.

Swindon Advertiser:

Can I wear a hoodie or cover my face?

Yes, you can wear anything that covers your face - but you may be asked to provide more identification. This is to allow for polling station staff to check people are not impersonating other voters by trying to vote twice.

Swindon Advertiser:

Can I wear anything I like? 

Voters dressed in political clothing are likely to be turned away from the polling station as it may be intimidating to other voters.

Only candidates and tellers are allowed to wear rosettes, but it should not bear a slogan and should not be oversized.

Can I discuss candidates inside the polling station?

No. Political discussion is banned from inside the polling station and staff will intervene if people are heard discussing candidates.

You are also not allowed to ask someone who they are voting for whilst inside the polling station as this will compromise the secrecy of the poll.

Swindon Advertiser:

Can I use my own pen?

There will be pencils handed out for people to use to put their mark in the box but if you would like to use your own pen this is allowed.

Swindon Advertiser:

I've made a mistake! What shall I do?

You can vote again as long as your ballot has not gone into the box. Staff will destroy your ballot paper and issue a new one.

Can I sign my ballot paper?

Some people occasionally sign their ballots but if the name is identifiable your vote will not count. They are considered rejected ballots because the voter has revealed their identity and breached the rules of a secret ballot.