A voting booth is not a phone booth, Italy rules

April 1, 2008

Italians can rarely be seen without their mobile phones, but the government has ruled they will not be allowed to take them into the polling stations on April 13-14.

The ruling is not to stop voters annoying their neighbours by shouting out: “I’m in the polling station!” but rather to prevent people selling their votes.

“We’ve made a law that plugs the one possible leak in the possibility of corrupt voting,” Interior Minister Giuliano Amato told a press conference.

“For years we’ve had the crime of paid-for votes. The most likely way is entering the booth with a phone or a camera, photographing your vote and using it as proof.”

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