A woman studies the ballot paper before making her mark to cast her vote in local municipality elections, in a township on the outskirts of Cape Town, South Africa, Wednesday, May 18, 2011. Some 23 million voters were registered at 20,000 polling stations across this country, and the results are likely to have an impact on national politics. (AP Photo/Schalk van Zuydam)

Johannesburg - It’s the year of selfies and what better way to capture your participation in the fifth democratic general elections than with a photo.

But before you smile, pout, show the peace sign or your best side, be warned: sneaking a selfie of a marked ballot paper in the voting booth could spell jail time for you.

The Independent Electoral Commission (IEC) says it will use a no-nonsense approach on May 7 to deal with those found guilty of contravening electoral rules.

This week a picture of an unmarked ballot paper in London surfaced on Twitter after expats voted abroad.

In the picture, a ballot paper containing political parties and all candidates can be seen.

But the IEC said no selfies or cameras would be allowed in voting booths on election day.

“In terms of the Electoral Act it is an offence for any person to take a photograph or any other form of image of a ballot paper which has been marked,” said IEC spokesman Kate Bapela.

Those found guilty would face criminal charges and could be sentenced to five or 10 years in jail.

For those who can’t resist or don’t want to suffer from any Fomo (fear of missing out) they can simply follow India.

In that part of the world, voters showed off pictures of their inked fingers during the April 7 elections .

Saturday Star