Is this an inducement, the illegal kind, to vote in a particular manner?

Graffiti artist Banksy has offered voters a free limited edition print if they vote for anyone other than the Conservatives this Thursday.

The anonymous artist made the offer to voters in the Bristol North West, Bristol West, North Somerset, Thornbury and Yate, Kingswood, and Filton and Bradley Stoke constituencies.

Banksy posted the offer on his website on Saturday.

“Simply send in a photo of your ballot paper from polling day showing you voted against the Conservative incumbent and this complimentary gift will be mailed to you,” he wrote.

A legal note beneath the post insists that the offer is not meant to be seen as a form of bribery toward potential voters.

The disclaimer states: “This print is a souvenir piece of campaign material, it is in no way meant to influence the choices of the electorate, has no monetary value, is for amusement purposes only and is strictly not for resale. Terms and conditions to follow, postage not included.”

He might say it’s not meant to be but is it?

36 comments on “Is this an inducement, the illegal kind, to vote in a particular manner?

  1. If it’s a bribe could we seize the prints when they are eventually sold as proceeds of crime?

  2. And a breach of some act or other about the privacy of polling. You can’t take a pic of your ballot paper without issue. Something to do with the sanctity of the ballot.

    I can’t see how this isn’t an inducement of any sort. Banksy can’t just state the print has no value as the value is set in the free market, at least until some communists get in at least. Therefore the financial inducement element can’t just be legal boilerplated away. If it were that easy then everyone would have done it a long time ago!

  3. Yes. Clearly. And I’d love him to have to explain that before the Electoral Commission.

    The disclaimer is very much of the sort “I know this duck looks like a duck, quacks like a duck and is certified as being a duck, but for legal reasons I have to claim that it is in fact not a duck”.

  4. Talking of dodgy attempts to influence the election: Gina Miller is promoting a website https://bestforbritain.org/ which advises on how to vote tactically against theTrores, in order to avoid a hard Brexit.

    I have just taken a snip shot of the site advising me to back my local Labour candidate, and emailed it to him with the following question:

    “Dear Mr XXXXXXXXXXXXXXX,

    I see that you are being endorsed by Gina Miller’s website “Best for Britain”:

    Will you be including a proportion of the costs of this website in your expenses declaration?

    Best regards
    CJ Nerd”

    I’m just adding to the general squeaky-bum-time-ness of the nation…

  5. Yes, it is. As abacab points out, the disclaimer is pure bullshit. Given that he’s a darling of the establishment, I’m not too hopeful about the prospects of a prosecution, though.

  6. “And a breach of some act or other about the privacy of polling. You can’t take a pic of your ballot paper without issue. Something to do with the sanctity of the ballot. ”
    Dear Voter, send me a photo of your ballot paper with X marked against the candidate of my choice unless you want your legs to be broken. Love, Bugsy
    PS – this is just our little secret, OK?

  7. — “The disclaimer states: “This print … has no monetary value … and is strictly not for resale.”

    So…

  8. The State lets him paint all over private property and then protects his grafitti. They aren’t going to go after him for something like this.

  9. Dear oh dear.
    Only ensuring people’s houses always increase in value is a legitimate form of wholesale bribery in this country; never mind that it ruins the economy.

  10. No offense to middle-aged Metropolitan metrosexuals who ride bicycles and have artisanal ironic facial hair and cause women’s ovaries to dry up in protest at their very presence, but aren’t they pretty much the only people who think Banksieses’ achingly 90’s grafitti is cool?

    The anonymous artist made the offer to voters in the Bristol North West, Bristol West, North Somerset, Thornbury and Yate, Kingswood, and Filton and Bradley Stoke constituencies.

    A lot of people who live in these constituencies would hit you with a shovel if you draw on their houses.

  11. A lot of people who live in these constituencies would hit you with a shovel if you draw on their houses.

    Yup. I’m one of ’em. His “art” is not cool, it is not clever and it is nothing more than graffiti – vandalism. Tacky stencils making puerile leftist political points with a sledgehammer. Dreck. Utter dreck.

  12. Always remember that there’s one law for luvvies and Muslims, and another for the rest of us.

  13. Longrider – Right?

    It makes me think of Radiohead album covers. I quite like Radiohead, but when you’re a 40something man who still thinks it’s profound to observe that “corporations want to make money!”, “wars are bad!” and “the police aren’t saints!”, that’s just saaaaaad.

    But the saddest thing is Banksy (with the ultra cool 90’s pseudonym like he’s Neo from The Matrix waking up all the sheeple with TRUTH BOMBS, yeah?) apparently thinks he’s “anti-establishment”.

    As if our establishment was still composed of crusty old Baronets whose monocles drop in posh apoplexy on seeing one of his radical stencils. When ackshually, the establishment is full of midwit lefty smuggos like, well, Banksy.

  14. DNR Reed should welcome rising property prices to defray a decent whack of Dementia Tax.

  15. Diogenes,

    Good to see DBCR displaying his customary lack of legal knowledge.

    You’re welcome.

  16. John Galt – maybe you qualify for an Oor Wullie annual.

    I’m fascinated with the Oor Wullie universe. How come it’s always 1945?

    I keep expecting The Doctor to materialise in his TARDIS and sort out this timey wimey loop with the help of Horace Broon and some sort of contraption made out of a shortbread tin and mince.

    Crivvens ensue.

  17. And a breach of some act or other about the privacy of polling. You can’t take a pic of your ballot paper without issue. Something to do with the sanctity of the ballot.

    As someone who does take photos in the ballot box, this is actually a bit of a grey area.

    Taking a photo of your own completed ballot in the privacy of the booth is not explicitly illegal (although the folks at the desk might object), what is illegal is anything which might identify another person or their vote.

    What may be illegal is publishing your photo without removing identifying marks such as your name and ballot number.

  18. “As if our establishment was still composed of crusty old Baronets whose monocles drop in posh apoplexy on seeing one of his radical stencils. When ackshually, the establishment is full of midwit lefty smuggos like, well, Banksy.”

    When a Banksy got put on a house in Cheltenham, the local council revised the listing to current state. So, a Grade 2 listed building not only has a Banksy stencil as part of its listing (which can’t be removed, but has been graffiti’d over) but also a satellite dish.

    (Cheltenham, along with Bristol are the two places that Guardian readers would love to live in the west. It’s the sort of place where you get multiple organic sourdough bakeries).

  19. Banksy presumably has oodles of investment income. Presumably, he’s looking forward to that earning him 2p in the pound with a Labour Government. Or under a Tory one…

  20. John Galt: As someone who does take photos in the ballot box

    You must be very small to do that!

  21. The ballots should be disallowed as are any that identify the voter, say by having initials on them (that’s a common occurrence). The reason for this is so that anyone doing any bribing, or indeed threatening, can’t check that the bribed stayed bribed or the threatened stays threatened.
    It is manifestly obviously.an attempt to bribe, since clearly some people do value the man’s art, even if he agrees with me as to its value.
    As to the authorities doing anything, they will be forced to if a rival candidate sues, especially if the number of spoilt papers exceeds the margin of victory.
    Could backfire spectacularly- most of those voting banksy’s preference would have done so anyway, disallowing their.votes would weakened not strengthen his candidates’ position.

  22. Website is needed offering to photoshop conservative voters ballot slips to show a Labour vote.

  23. Any ballots which have signatures and names (not sure about initials alone) on them are marked as “Rejected” under current UK election guidelines, specifically to maintain the secrecy of the ballot and prevent potential vote rigging.

    Use of voting booths, ballot boxes and other measures were specifically introduced to prevent abuse of the electoral process, since elections used to take place at a given time / place by showing of hands (before the Ballot Act of 1872)

  24. Further thought.
    Should anyone want a banksy print but not want to vote his preference.
    Take your ballot paper to the booth, fill in as per banksy’s instructions, photograph and send as per instructions.
    Take the ballot paper back to the Presiding Officer state that you made a mistake and demand a fresh one. He is obliged to give you one and put your original with the spoiled papers.
    Take your fresh paper to the booth and fill in according to YOUR wishes.
    Your original spoiled paper will not be counted, your true paper will be, and if banksy keeps his word you get a print.

  25. “No person shall … directly or indirectly induce a voter to display his ballot paper after he has marked it so as to make known to any person the name of the candidate for whom he has or has not voted.”

  26. A few milk-bottles full of whitewash strategically deployed at 3am would be an appropriate response. If nicked, you could say it was an art installation called Electoral Treating.

    “A person is guilty of treating if either before, during or after an election they directly or indirectly give or provide any food, drink, entertainment or provision to corruptly influence any voter to vote or refrain from voting.”[1]

  27. He’s, whatever you call buying votes across the pond. The trial should be simple seeing as he kindly paid to advertise the crime.

    Pat,

    I would assume that there is some kind of penalty for the voters as well. I would think this is risky, even if you made sure you had plenty of witnesses who will testify you replaced the ballot.

  28. He’s withdrawn the offer – apparently it was an “ill-conceived and legally dubious promotion”… Mind you it took the Electoral Commission to make him think that way though!!

  29. The Electoral Office warned him. If it had been a right-winger, they would have just got him arrested.

  30. Of course all ballot papers are given numbers as they are passed out so the electoral officials can identify how you voted, (should this become necessary).
    Another entry in the encyclopaedia of right-wing innocence!

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