What A Carry On….

Well yesterday was General Election Day, the day that we all have the right to go and vote, to have our say as to who we’d like to run the country. It seems a simple process you take your polling card to the designated polling station at some time between 7am and 10pm, you get issued with a ballot paper and you make your mark in private and then put it in the box. Easy peasy, or is it?

It appears that in some places people couldn’t exercise this right to vote, why I hear you ask? Well some folks turned up late, that is their fault the rules state that the polling stations must close at 10pm. Some folks turned up and found queues that took an hour and half or more to get into the building, if you turned up at 8.30pm thinking you had plenty of time you may not have had a chance to vote.

I can hear some of you saying, ‘Yes but they had all day to vote’ and I say yes they did but it’s not always possible for people to get there early so don’t brand everyone as lazy until you know all the facts. I’m sure there were some lazy voters who couldn’t be bothered to go early, I’m fairly certain that some folks wouldn’t have bothered at all but then saw that there was a high turnout and so they decided to go at the last moment.

I do know that there are many jobs up and down the country where people work 12 hour shifts. If you happen to work from 7am to 7pm you would have to vote on the way home from work. Some folks have long journeys to get to and from work, a place where my husband used to work involved a drive of 90 minutes in each direction, meaning that he wouldn’t be home until 8.30pm if he finished at 7pm.  From home it is a 2 mile drive to our polling station so if you arrive after 8.30pm and there’s a huge queue is it your fault? No. Is it the fault of the organisers? Not necessarily, they have rules to stick to.

I do find it hard to believe that places ran out of ballot papers! How is that possible? Surely the polling station should have enough ballot papers for each person eligible to vote and spares to take into account for people who accidentally spoil their paper. My polling station is run by 2 ladies, no one else to help, I don’t know how it is in bigger places but they couldn’t have gone much quicker and certainly wouldn’t have had time to ring for help should such a thing have happened here. I suppose ballot papers could have been collected from a nearby polling station in a situation like we had last night.

Yes there is another way to vote, the postal vote, but some folks, me included, still like the ritual of going along and making sure that their ballot paper gets into that black box. It reminds me of being a child and walking along to the school where my parents voted and them telling me that it was very important that when I had the chance I should go and vote. I never knew how they voted, I don’t really care but I know they went along every time and I do the same.

It seems that some polling stations were allocated too many folks to cope with, I’d say that’s probably the fault of the local council as they are the ones who send out the polling cards that tell you where to go and vote. I don’t know all the facts and figures, the whys and why nots, the ifs and buts, sorry about that. All I know is that next time around the voting system needs to be better organised and more prepared to deal with a higher turn out. I hate to think what would have happened if everyone who was eligible had turned up!

I do feel sorry for those who couldn’t vote and wanted to if it was through no fault of their own, if you couldn’t be bothered to go early but you had all day to go then tough luck, you’ll know better next time.

So what do you think? Could more have been done to ensure everyone had their say yesterday?

Feel free to leave a comment….

2 Comments »

  1. Graeme said,

    May 7th, 2010 at 7:20 am

    Election by combat, all candidates enter a huge ring, last one standing gets the seat.

  2. Mum said,

    May 7th, 2010 at 11:18 am

    I am glad that all that nagging as born fruit. I remember telling you that women died to get you the vote so you should use it or you don’t have the right to moan about the goverment you get

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