As I entered the polling station and handed my card to the lady at the desk, I still didn’t know how I would vote. Nothing I’d heard in the run up to the election made me want to vote for any of the parties. I did feel quite strongly about voting against most of the options.
The lady drew a ruled line through my name and handed me a long ballot paper. “Please choose one option and put a cross in the box. Don’t write anything else on the paper. And, when you’re done, just pop it in the box here.” She patted a black steel box beside her.
I gave her a weak smile and I took my sheet over to a wooden booth. A chunky black pencil tethered by a piece of string waited, expectantly. I unfolded the sheet and slowly, deliberately, read through each option, hoping something would click and I’d suddenly feel some kind of rightness about one of my choices.
Nothing leapt out.
I picked up the pencil. Maybe I should just stab blindly at the paper and leave it up to chance. Or I could scribble NONE OF THE ABOVE in big childish letters. I wished just one of the candidates could be qualified, trusted, to represent me.
At the very bottom of the page lurked a name I didn’t recognise. An independent candidate with no logo next to his name. I knew nothing about him except that he was willing to go it alone. He didn’t feel like he fit in with any of the parties either.
I put my cross in the box.
This is a fictional story about voting. It’s not about me, or how I voted. It’s about a disillusioned voter recognising they have something in common with a candidate.
Happy voting everyone!