EU referendum: Voters concerned about the use of pencils in polling booths

Referendum ballot paper. Jonathan Brady/PA Wire

Referendum ballot paper. Jonathan Brady/PA Wire - Credit: PA

People on social media are warning voters to bring their own pens to polling booths when they vote in the EU referendum over fears that pencil marks on ballots could be compromised.

This concern has gained momentum on social media despite the fact that pencils are always provided for voters to use in elections.

The #usepens has been circulating on Twitter today among voters but the Electoral Commission have been quick to assure people that both pens and pencils can be used when voting.

A spokesperson said: 'Using a pencil when completing the ballot paper is not specified in legislation.

'Pencils have been traditionally used in the UK for the purposes of marking ballot papers and are made available inside polling stations for voters to use.

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'But there is nothing to stop a voter from bringing and using a pen to mark their vote - there is no legal requirement for ballot papers to be marked with a pencil.

'Pencils have been used in this country for historic and practical reasons.'

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