This article was first published on Dazed Digital (June 2017), to view my full profile visit: http://www.dazeddigital.com/user/harrietkean
If you vote against the Tories in the next general election, Banksy may gift you with an exclusive print. Posting on his official website on Sunday, he asked voters of six south-west constituencies to send him a picture of their ballot paper. If their vote is anything but conservative, he has pledged to give the voter a limited edition artwork.
He stated on his official website: “Simply send in a photo of your ballot paper from the polling day showing you voted against the Conservative candidate and this complimentary gift will be mailed to you”. The exclusive free print, which will be released June 9, is a re-work of his famous stencil image ‘Girl with Balloon’. This new artwork replaces the iconic red heart with a Union Jack motif.
A tongue and cheek legal note follows the announcement, stating that the offer is not meant to bribe or sway potential voters. “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.”
However, there has been some debate as to whether his proposal is actually legal. Since the influx of ‘selfie’ taking, last year the Electoral commissioned a ban on ballot selfies. As the Representation of the People Act states, it is a criminal offence to “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 or she has voted”.
The news comes after he recently revealed that he was the artist behind the Brexit mural, which suddenly appeared near Dover’s ferry terminal on Sunday 7th May. The iconic stencil depicts a star being chiselled off the EU flag by a workman. Although threatened with removal, the Dover-based artwork carried a defiant anti-Brexit message.
At least for the government to press charges they would have to actually find out who he is first.