As trailed this morning, today I did a walking tour of the 10 Polling Stations nearest to my house on General Election Day. I did this to highlight the ridiculous situation that our voting system still uses 19th Century methods in 2015. I hope that we will have online voting before the country as a whole does this again.
First, here’s the story of the day.
The Starting Point
Polling Station 1 – I voted
Polling Station 2
Polling Station 3
Polling Station 4
Polling Station 5
Polling Station 6
Polling Station 7
Polling Station 8
Polling Station 9
Polling Station 10
So, what did I learn?
Well, I learned that the terrain of Huddersfield is pretty challenging, something I already knew, but perhaps needed to be reminded of. And some of the Polling Stations were in quite hilly places. They must be difficult to get to for people with restricted mobility.
I also learned that Polling Stations are in some pretty varied places. But, in my sample of 10, there was only one, at Paddock Village Hall, that was in a place which seemed to be offering other reasons for people to be there, namely a community cafe.
And I perhaps learned most from the 40 minute break I took along the way in a pub. I overheard a couple of conversations, one involving two people who were voting today for the first time in years “because it’s important this time, isn’t it?”; and one about voting in Australia, which is not only compulsory, but, it seems, is made an occasion of, with barbecues at the Polling Stations.
I think we need to move to online voting as soon as possible. But, in the interim, barbecues at Polling Stations doesn’t seem like a bad idea.