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Paws and Polls: Celebrating Election Day with Our Four-Legged Voters



Canine Companions at Voting Venues: A Summary of Civic-Minded Dogs during Local Election Day

Political pooches, democratic dogs, and voting bulldogs – indeed, it's the day when dogs accompany their owners to polling stations, all thanks to local election activities.

Thursday, May 2, 2024, 16:

Dogs are accompanying their owners to voting stations again as people show up to cast their votes in local elections.

London's Mayor Sadiq Khan, along with his wife Saadiya Ahmed and their dog Luna, cast their votes at St Alban's Church in south London.

At the same voting location, Cinna, a rescue dog from Greece who is eight years old, appeared enthusiastic about ensuring her owners made it to the voting booth.

Billy, a black Labrador, had the distinction of being the first dog at a Swindon Borough Council polling station today, coinciding with a reminder from the council for voters to ensure they have a photo ID with them.

Tracking Outcomes via Sky News

Polling stations recognize 22 various types of voter ID. Check Sky News' comprehensive guide to ensure you bring the correct identification.

Here are some examples from Blackpool…

Guide dogs are the sole animals permitted in every voting center, and here's guide dog Sidney appearing quite dapper during his visit.

While certain voting locations might permit the presence of dogs, the Electoral Commission generally advises against it as they can potentially disrupt voters.

The Blue Cross has issued advice on bringing your dog along when you vote, recommending that you confirm the venue's policy beforehand.

Behold a Corgi in London, who might be quite excited or simply uninterested, judging by its gaping mouth…

Monty appears to be having a rough day, and you might feel the same if you take a picture of your dog at a voting site.

Under legal statutes, disclosing an individual's voting choices, their voting intentions, or the distinctive identifier on their ballot paper is prohibited. This sensitive information could inadvertently be captured in photographs taken within the confines of a polling station.

The Electoral Commission has provided recommendations advising that photography should be completely prohibited within polling stations.

BBC host Victoria Derbyshire brought her dogs Lola and Gracie with her to vote, and they have a particular plea for the victor.

The Dogs Trust provided advice for bringing your dog along when you vote.

Authorities advised pet owners to provide their dogs with a coat if they anticipate standing in line during chilly or rainy conditions, and urged them not to leave their pets unattended in cars or tethered outside.

Ultimately, it might seem like social media sparked the trend of bringing dogs to polling stations, but historian Dr. Linda Maynard has shown that voters as far back as 1921 were already practicing this.

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