A Rookies Guide To Voting (And How To Get Out Quickly)

Posted on 03/06/2016

It’s election time!

If it's your first time you've been old enough to vote, it's understandable you might not have followed the elections too closely in previous years. There's a bit to get your head around, and it can seem a bit daunting and confusing. But once you understand the system, not only will you feel a lot more confident in making a choice of who to vote for, you'll have a much easier time on the day,

Here's how you can get through this election without getting that whopping fine for not bothering, yeah? Cool. Let’s go.

Make sure you’re enrolled for the right region

Annoying, I know. But kind of crucial to the whole damn thing. So you’d better enroll online if you want to have your say about the place you’re living. One of the big mistakes I made when I moved to the Village was forgetting to enroll for my area, so I had to do an absentee vote for my hometown. You may as well be voting for the person you want representing the area where you live, so make sure you’re up to date in that department. You can enroll online here for any future elections. It probably won’t be long before there’s another one…

Familiarise yourself with your local candidates

Sure, if you’re invested in local issues it’s a great way to keep up to date, but mostly, those guys are probably gonna try and say hello to you and shake your hand when you walk in to vote. Best not to look like a goose because you have no idea who the hell they are. Knowing their names might also help when you’re stuck with that massive voting sheet and you need to pick a name. Don’t think of it as ‘study’, just think of it as a way to get out of there faster.

It’s okay to say no to the campaigners outside

A lot of campaigners will be standing out the front, trying to hand you flyers and leaflets in a last-resort attempt to convert you to their party. You don’t have to stand there and take everything that’s handed to you if you don’t want to. It can look like a lot of information in one go, but the only thing you really need to have is your ballot paper(s). Just head on inside with the essentials and don’t worry too much about the rest of it. Oh, and don’t just ignore the campaigners, they are just a passionate bunch 

It’s alright if you don’t know much about this election

There are plenty of passionate people in the world that will tell you that you don’t care enough. It’s totally fine if you’re not as invested in the political scene as your mates. Just don’t scribble anything down. We live in an amazing country where our input is counted and included. Our hung Parliament in 2010 was proof of that. It’s always better to have a little bit of knowledge about who you’re voting for, especially in this election, as many of the issues on the table concern students. It’s fine if you do a bit of Googling beforehand, just don’t go in there with no knowledge! If you need a bit of help in that department, this is a great quiz to test where you stand with political party views.

Election time is always pretty manic and it consumes the news. Given our recent history with the ‘revolving door’ of Prime Minister-ship it’s no wonder. If you’re not a political person there’s no need worry, just head in, cast your vote and go home. Then sit back and watch the whole thing unfold on the news later that day. Things are gonna get interesting…

Strap yourselves in kiddies.
Amy.

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