2017

At The Polling Station


We round the corner and in front of us appears a long line of students, all anxiously looking to and from the registry office; or, as the big, white letters say, ‘THE COUNCIL HOUSE’. An almost-discarded sign underneath reads ‘POLLING STATION’. We don’t hesitate before joining the line.

Standing the queue, we discuss who we think we’re going to vote for. I know, I have known for a while, who I will vote for. My friends on the other hand, three of us all together, are unsure.

“Just wait until you’re in there,” I say. “You’ll know, when you see the ballot paper, you’ll know.”

The queue is actually a lot shorter than we had thought, and soon we’re in the small room. The polling booths are cardboard boxes lined up, and I click my pen anxiously in my hand. “Mightier than sword,” it reads along the body.

I tell a lady and a man my name, and where I live on the university campus. They cross me off, and another lady gives me my polling slip, ripping it from a piece of paper not unlike the slips you rip from when helping at the tombola stall in primary school.

I take my slip to the first booth, lean over, and cross my box instantly. It’s afterwards that I read all of the instructions, but I already know I’ve done it right.

I fold the paper and slip it into the box, moving to the side of the room. My hands are shaking.

When we leave, the line is twice as long as when we’d arrived. We walk past the crowd, talking excitedly. I take a Snapchat, add the “I VOTED!” filter, send it to my mum. She screenshots it, sends back: “I’m proud of you.”

We go to the shop, and I buy a paper and some chocolate. The day continues as normal. We walk past the line again on our way back home.

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