Never in my life in the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland have I heard of such scenes! Voting fever has gripped a nation and a generation which has been mostly apathetic about politics has erupted into arguments about who to vote for. My BlackBerry messenger and my Facebook page have become site's of political slander and all sorts. It's great. The exit polls suggest that for all his 'great work', Nick Clegg's Lib Dem's have actually lost ground. WOW. I didn't see that coming. My girl, Fly-Ass Single Mama, has been calling trying to get some translations of election babble. Things like swing, marginal seats, exit polls, etc....AMAZING.
The polls opened at 7am on Thursday 6th May and closed at 10pm, that's ample time, right?! So why have there been scenes of queues and people turned away from polling stations due to a mad rush at the end? It seems GMT (Ghana Man Time) has affected the nation! Is it bad that I find this hilarious? Surely, 13 hours is ample time to cast a damn vote? I am almost giddy. In some places they ran out of ballot papers. How possible? I have friends who are LITERALLY kicking themselves for not getting on the electoral roll early enough! How exciting. Since it looks like we will have a hung parliament I wonder if there will be loads of contested constituencies? If it is a hung parliament I wonder how long it will all last.
But on a serious note the issue of fairness has been raised, in some constituencies (Manchester Withington, City of Chester, Sheffield Hallam, Penistone & Stocksbridge and Hackney South & Shoreditch) people were turned away at 10pm in others the time was extended by 10 mins or so, although police officers are claiming that in Brockley, South London, one polling station was allowing voters to cast their votes up until 10.30pm!
Is this right?
The rules state that anyone holding a ballot paper at 10pm have the right to vote. But if you are in the polling station but not holding a ballot paper, may NOT vote. Oh dear. So what now? Should they have handed the ballot papers down the line? I really don't know. Apparently, in the marginal seat of the City of Chester, the Labour party are claiming as many as 600 voters were turned away!! The party had only won the seat previously by 900-odd. 917, actually, I just checked. That is TIGHT!