As I write this, it is the eve of the 2015 General Election here in the UK.
I can’t say I’m a fan of politics, I know I’m not alone, I hate watching the mainstream media working themselves up into a frenzy like an over excited lover hanging on until they just can’t bare it anymore, shouting things, in the heat of the moment, we all know they’ll regret in the morning. Last night I heard a reporter say:
“This election is turning into Game of Thrones.. Except without the naughty bits”
All gets a bit desperate and ridiculous, but we knew that.
Most of you are probably glad that the build up is dying down, all we have to do tomorrow is turn up at the polls put that cross in a box and go about the rest of our lives for the next five years, we’ve even earned the right to moan about the state of the country. For me though voting is always a little bit stressful, it’s up there with going to my inaccessible dentist.
The polling booths are claustrophobic the tabes are always too high, making me feel like a toddler and frankly a general short arse, the booth walls are too narrow, making me very aware of my balance, or lack of it, and then of course there’s the pen, on a string that is far too short, when you consider the table is not designed for a disabled person, and because of this I can’t see the ballot paper, always very nearly, but never intentionally spoiling my vote.
When I voted for the first time, I can remember feeling very grown up and excited about being given the opportunity to vote. I went with my Mum and Dad and can remember asking exactly what I’d have to do.
I queued up gave my name and address and was handed my ballot paper by a very grumpy man. Already my lust to vote was waining already..
All of the booths had a chair in them, and my first thought was ‘who the hell needs to contimplate who they need to vote for, for SO long they need a sit down?’…
Anyway, I rolled my chair under the table that I can only assume was built for a giant, paying disregard to the plastic chair lovingly placed underneath. As my feet barged the chair, it made the most horrific noise as it rumbled across the floor of the primay schools sports hall.
This was accompanied by a chorus of of shushes and tuts. I turned around, and very britishly whispered an apology several times over.
I was, at this point in the booth, I realised that the pen was on a string, which, for reasons I’m still not all together clear on, Is on a string. But the table is too high. I tried to mark my paper but couldn’t quite reach. I needed someone to loosen the string on the pen. So I did what I always do when I am confused, and shouted a Parent.
Mum came to the rescue and stood behind me to see what the problem was, followed by the grumpy electoral supervisor who demanded to know what my mother was doing, trying to spoil my paper. She wasn’t. I promptly told the man I was finding it a very stressful experience.
I did manage to vote in the end and despite not being overly keen on politics, I do realise it’s every important. I’m no Russell Brand.
But voting when your disabled makes it feel like your left fighting to vote.