Wednesday, 6 May 2015

The Rules Of Voting

We are either ending the last 24 hours of the Conservative Government or possibly the start of five years of the same thing but the six week election campaign has not been one that will live in the memory for long.
Luckily Democracy only comes around one day every five years so on Friday the politicians can go back to ignoring us again but for now it's all smiles and promises to do their very best for us because tomorrow we can make or break their careers.
While we are there deciding whose little box we want to put the cross next to, the Electoral Commission have laid out some ground rules for what we can and can't do in the privacy of the polling booth.
A big no-no is taking photographs as they could lead to a 'potential breach of privacy' so no selfies or you risk a fine of £5,000 or six months in prison but more likely you will be asked to delete the picture.
Tweeting while in the booth is also frowned upon as it is illegal for the same reasons as you can't take a photograph and it is recommended that if you must tell the world how you voted in 140 characters, wait until you are outside the polling station. 
You are allowed to take a pet as long as it is only in an accompanying role (whatever that means) and will not cause disruption to the voting process.
Dress sense is key and you can't just stroll up wearing political party clothing such a t-shirt as it is considered intimidating and you will be refused entry. While a man can be topless, women's tops must be covered to avoid distraction. You are not allowed to wear a rosette either, only the candidates can pull off that fashion statement.
Polling station staff can only refuse a voter who has been drinking or under the influence of drugs if they are being disruptive and will be asked to return when they have sobered up. 
While you can take your mobile phone into the polling station, you will be tutted at loudly and asked to take it outside if you try to use it to send a text, or make or take a call.
If you make the error of accidentally ticking the box for the wrong candidate, you can ask for another ballot paper as it isn't official until you drop it into the ballot box. Some people fee the need to sign the ballot paper but you can't write anything on the ballot paper except your 'X' as it won't be counted and will be rejected and added to the 'spoilt' pile.
Finally, my own special don't is DON'T suck or chew the pencil, other people have to use it after you!
Happy voting.

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