Friday, May 05, 2006

Yesterday I was mostly a spoke in the wheel of democracy

Yesterday I was up super early to help the democratic process flow. You see I was enlisted to help as a polling clerk again, a job that requires me to tick off voters as they vote and ensure no-one tries to vote fraudulently. It's quite boring, but I quite enjoy it, you get to see all sorts of people, and I feel like I'm helping them utilise their democratic right to vote. I was stationed at a polling station in stannington, amidst a council estate of a mostly aged population. It was interesting to hear some of their grumbles, particularly that they had not seen or heard anything from the people standing, nor had they received any literature. So it just goes to show that a lot of people really do want to identify with the candidates and get a sense that the candidates are interested in helping them. There was of course a few people annoyed with the polling station, some posh guy from one of the larger houses (outside the council estate) moaning that it has taken him 30 minutes to find the polling station. "How is anyone supposed to find this station if they are not familiar with the area"

Errrm, you live here, I found it ok and I live in another part of sheffield. Just goes to show that a lot of people take no interest in their surrounding neighbourhood, especially, i guess, when it is a council estate!

Perhaps the chap wanted his own polling station at the end of his drive!

Then there was an old chap, who according to our records had requested a postal vote and so could not vote in person, insisted that he should be able to vote. He qualified this belief by saying, not only had he not requested a postal vote, but that he was around before the polling station was even built and had always voted there, so wished to do so again!

The police popped by twice to check that everything was running smoothly, and one of the candidates (the liberal democrat) did actually pop in and thank us for working at the station and to enquire how the voting was going. He seemed quite a nice chap actually.

Starting at 0700 and seeing about 10 votes an hour until lunch, it was certainly quiet, but time used to do some reading. The peak hour was from 1900-2000 with 34 votes cast.

A number of people who came to vote said that they had come to ensure that the bnp didn't get in, but thankfully they had no candidates in this particular ward (though those wards where they did have candidates they actually gained a significant number of votes).

A full round up of the sheffield council results can be found here.

1 comment:

AndyW said...

Hi Chris

Thanks for your recent visit to the world of wier, and for the helpful tip. Not had time to check it out yet but I will with the help of one of my techie friends.

Glad to hear you've been doing your bit for local democracy. Makes it all worthwhile!! Need to ring you in a bit with some news re Crookemoor...