(I wrote a large chunk of this at the last election. Seems pretty apt now as well.)
It’s best to think of Polling Day like ‘The X-Factor’ Final, but with the added disappointment of the winning act’s song stuck on constant loop for the next five years.
People have registered in record numbers, meaning that there will be many more first time voters. With this in mind, I’ve compiled this guide to the voting process to help the newbies deal with the often confusing procedures ahead.
First, there WILL be old people. This cannot be avoided. They are placed there by the parties in order to drive home the futility of existence and break your spirit. Do not be swayed. Engage them in a conversation about cake or Tommy Steele when presenting your polling card.
Candidates and their representatives may be present. You can tell which party they’re from by the colours they wear. I remember them using this poem.
Labour are red,
Tories are blue
Lib Dems are yellow,
Aaargh. Aaargh. Aaargh. Aaargh. Aaargh. Aaargh. Aaargh.
(It needs some work)
You’ll recognise Ukip as they have the same party colours as The Standing at the Back Dressed Stupidly and Looking Stupid Party in Blackadder.
If you’ve got around the OAPs and not been reduced to a sobbing mass of existential terror, you will be presented with a ballot paper and invited to enter the polling booth. Once there, I prefer to sing “Jerusalem” to myself in a rich baritone to create the right air of solemnity.
It is traditional to mark your ballot paper with a cross (If you are voting for Ukip this is also known as “your signature”) against the name of your chosen candidate, but writing “LOL”, “ Likes This” or drawing a smiley face are also acceptable.
If you can draw this on your ballot paper without crossing a line twice, your vote counts double:
If you are considering voting tactically, you are required by law to shout “You sunk my battleship!” at the top of your voice while in the booth.
Leave the pencil behind. This isn’t fucking Argos.
Fold your ballot paper (I prefer to make mine into an origami Huw Edwards) and place it in the ballot box along with any loose change you may have.
Run to the pub and reflect on what you have done. Practice the phrase “It’s not my fault. I didn’t vote for them.”
Good luck and happy voting!