I have just crossed my road, walked shortly down the opposite street and into a local primary school with a piece of paper with my name and address on it, and the address of the school that I walked into. I arrived to an otherwise empty room with two upright cross-booth desks with desks of varying heights, and two oddly happy people sitting behind a very small desk, on very small chairs. The closest to the door was a rather tall gentleman with smart glasses who commented that he felt not unlike Gulliver of Swift’s tale.
I handed over my card, and the two cross-referenced the location of my name on the list, my name was found, and a mark was made beside it. I do not recall seeing any other marks on the same page. The lady (further from the door, and closer to the Ballot Box) then removed a large polling sheet, and handed it to me.
I passed across to the strange cross-booth, and read the instructions on the wall, then all of the parties on the polling sheet, before using the very thick pencil to make a cross on the sheet. The sheet was then folded in half, and I moved back to the desk, was instructed to fold the sheet yet further and push it into the box. This done, I bid the two good day, and left.
I was back within my house within two minutes.
Okay, so not everybody is lucky enough to have a polling station quite so close to their house, but it’s not going to be very far. I’m still shocked by the levels of political apathy within the general populace. Much has been said of the apathy of ‘young voters,’ but a cursory glance over Tweets and Facebook status updates today suggests that the opposite is true. The young are becoming increasingly interested in the political system, either at the basic level of just voting, or to more fuller involvement with parties or pressure groups.
At any rate, you should all take a few minutes from your day today to go and vote. It’s for the European Parliament, and as such quite possibly more important than Westminster. It’s a proportional representation system, so the number of votes is directly equivalent to the number of seats won.
Just go and do it.
RT @lostinnorfolk 69 years ago today our grandfathers did it with rifles on a beach in Dunkirk. Go out today & do it with a stubby pencil in a village hall.