Candidates in British Columbia’s election could knock on all the doors they wanted to on Tuesday as voters headed to the polls, but they better not have tweeted about it. Mainstreeting was no problem, so long as no evidence made its way onto Instagram. That is the reality created by the province’s 17-year-old election law, drafted long before the Internet — much less social media — had become such an integral part of the lives of candidates and voters. It also prompted Elections BC to warn candidates and parties who had broken the rules to delete their offending social media posts.
“Under the Election Act, candidates cannot tweet on general voting day, and they know this,” Elections BC spokesman Don Main said in an interview Tuesday.
“A candidate from one of the parties was tweeting since midnight last night, so the party has been contacted to advise all of their candidates that they cannot tweet on general voting day, and any tweets that have been posted since midnight last night need to be removed.”
The Election Act prohibits a number of activities on voting day, including broadcasting or transmitting election-related advertising, which Elections BC has interpreted to include online social media postings.