Dogs at polling stations: A round-up of democracy-loving pups on local election day

UK

The pups are at the polls once more as voters turn out for local elections with four-legged friends in tow.

London mayor Sadiq Khan and his wife Saadiya Ahmed were accompanied by their dog Luna as they voted at St Alban’s Church in south London.

Image:
Sadiq Khan and his wife Saadiya Ahmed with their dog Luna. Pic: PA

At the same polling station, Cinna, an eight-year-old rescue dog from Greece, seemed eager to make sure her owners reached the ballot box.

Image:
Pic: PA

Billy the black Labrador was Swindon Borough Council’s first polling station dog of the day, as they issued a reminder to voters to bring photo ID.

How to follow results on Sky News

There are 22 different forms of voter ID accepted at polling stations – you can remind yourself what you need to take with Sky News’ full guide.

Assistance dogs are the only animals that are allowed inside every polling station – and here’s guide pup Sidney looking very handsome on his visit.

Some polling stations may be flexible with letting you take your dog inside, but according to advice from the Electoral Commission they are not normally allowed in as they can disturb voters.

The Blue Cross has published guidelines on taking your pup to vote, and says you should check with the venue in advance.

Monty doesn’t look like he’s having a great day – and you might not be either if you snap a photo of your dog inside a polling station.

It is against the law to share how someone has voted, is about to vote, or the unique ID ballot paper number – all of which could end up in shot with photos taken inside the polling station.

The Electoral Commission has issued guidance to officials suggesting taking photos should not be allowed inside polling stations at all.

BBC presenter Victoria Derbyshire took dogs Lola and Gracie along to vote – and they have a special request for whoever wins.

The Dogs Trust also shared tips for voting with your dog.

They encouraged owners to take a coat for their dog if they could be queueing in cold or wet weather, and not to leave a dog in the car or tied up outside.

Finally, you may think we have social media to thank for the “dogs at polling stations” trend – but historian Dr Linda Maynard demonstrates the voters of 1921 were on to it as well.

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