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People Will Take Pens To Polling Booths To Stop Their Votes Being Rubbed Out

#UsePens

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You may have noticed there's a referendum on tomorrow, when voters in the UK will decide whether or not their country should leave the European Union.

Handout

Most people will go along to polling booths on Thursday and cast their vote with the traditional tiny pencil provided. But, for a small yet determined band of Leave voters, that is simply not good enough.

Around 46% of Leave voters think that tomorrow's vote could be rigged, according to a poll by YouGov, and some of those people seem to think that part of that conspiracy involves pencil votes being rubbed out.

Their answer, faithfully gathered together by Twitter user @Trewloy, is to #UsePens.

Take a pen with you to the polling station. Don't risk it. #EUref

The phenomenon was first seen with Scottish independence supporters in their referendum in 2014, but now seems to have mainly been adopted by Brexiters.

Take a pen when you vote, don't use pencil. https://t.co/YRGTkR1IJT

The concern appears to be that some unnamed force will rub out pencil votes, but will be unable to change an inky vote made with a good-quality pen.

Don't use a pencil, use a black marker pen to cast your vote tomorrow to counter vote rigging... #EUref

"Don't use the pencils provided," warns this Brexit supporter.

When you go vote tomorrow take a pen with you. Don't use the pencils provided

"Make sure you use a pen," adds this man.

Tomorrow,make sure you use a pen #Brexit #voteleave #EUref #Brexit #useapen

"USE A PEN NOT PENCIL," wrote this Leave voter, alongside a note warning of vote rigging.

USE A PEN NOT PENCIL! #votebrexit #voteleave #VoteLeaveTakeControl #brexiters #brexit #out #inorout #euref #go 🇬🇧👍🇬🇧

The Electoral Commission said it's fine to use a pen, but stopped short of confirming there is a conspiracy to rub out Leave votes en masse.

When you fill in your #EURef ballot paper on Thursday, you can use a pen or the provided pencil – it's your choice.

UKIP MEP David Coburn revealed exclusively to BuzzFeed News that he has procured a "special Union Jack pen" for the occasion.

@JamieRoss7 I got a special Union Jack pen

This voter just doesn't trust pencils right now.

Would like to use a black ink pen to vote in the #EUref anyone know if this is OK? Not sure I trust a pencil at the moment #VoteLeave #trust

While this one thinks trusting the establishment to look after your pencil vote is like "leaving a hamster with a hungry python".

Take your sharpie pen when voting #brexit, trusting the establishment with the ballot is like leaving a hamster with a hungry python #EUref

So, remember, when you go to the polling booth tomorrow to make the biggest political decision of your life, #UsePens.

Take a pen when you vote don't use a pencil.


Jamie Ross is a Scotland reporter for BuzzFeed News and is based in Edinburgh.

Contact Jamie Ross at jamie.ross@buzzfeed.com.

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