You know all those pesky people who stand at the school gate thrusting all those how to vote forms at you? Well, due to a favor owed – I was one of them today. I had offered my services to a person I had recently met who had been very kind and supportive, and who I admire and respect. While I was sincere in my offer, I was not enthused about the day itself. I anticipated a rather laborious and tiring experience and no doubt would anxiously await the day’s end. Instead, my experience was the total opposite.
I had never done anything like this before so the idea of a new experience was exciting though my preconceived idea of what these “people” were like and the segregation I expected was adding to my anxious dread.
It was suggested that I arrive about 7am to get a “good spot” at the school gate. I wondered exactly what was meant by “a good spot” because all I had ever seen were people standing right in front of the entrance thrusting multiple colourful pamphlets at me as I tried to make my way through. I had always been displeased at the rudeness of this practice and wondered how I would cope now being one of “them”.
As advised, I took a chair, a mini table, through in a thermos of coffee then packed the car with the box of “how to vote” forms and 3 placards. I donned my provided T Shirt and Cap and drove the half Kilometre to to the school.
There were 2 others already securing their “spot” and placing their own placards. Not knowing exactly what to do I was relieved to see that one was a neighbour, experienced with the procedure. She politely helped me with the rules. Rules? Ok, so there are rules. Glad she was there.
The other man was also helpful and it wasn’t long before we were chatting away (not unusual for me) when the first of the voters arrived. I copied the others with their method of handing out these forms and before I knew it, I was a seasoned distributor.
By this time of course there were many many more supporters all handing out their preferred party forms and now a much larger area was covered by placards and people and I now know what was meant by a “good spot”.
The brother arrived to help not long after and settled into our spot. Typical of us, discontentment with serious matters inevitably turned to humour. I’m sure many voters had never been presented with these forms in such a manner before.
We would all be having a full on conversation about something, breaking from it automatically to offer our individual spiels to voters as we handed out the forms before picking up with our same conversation without a hiccup.
We laughed at all the excuses for not accepting these forms with the most common being the serious mobile phone conversation, pretending to be engrossed in a conversation while waving us away with their other hand as they walked in the gates. Then there were the ones with a small child on each hand (naturally we handed our form to the child instead). The dogs on a lead was a good one, and yes, we did try to hand them to their dogs. It was all done with fun and most people seemed to enjoy it, even stopping for chats again on the way out. One of the highlights for me was the amount of old friends and neighbors I was able to catch up with.
We were provided with a nice delivered lunch and then a dinner at a local Tavern in the evening. All up it was great fun and I’m looking forward to the next election.
“Everybody is looking for an election where they can do something and participate.” – Rand Paul