As our former colonial overlords go to the polls today, you, the Indian-killing pioneer may have questions about what voters “over there” can and can’t do today in the voting booth. No? That’s never crossed your mind? Well, some goofy editor at the BBC told some poor chip-eating writer to crap out a wacky color piece about that very topic to go along with the serious coverage The Guardian is providing.
Gather ’round, lads and lassies, and together let’s find out what filthy behavior the Queen permits in her peepshow voting booths.
How does the poor bastard assigned to this story begin the piece? Eh, not great.
At 0700 BST on Thursday, schools and village halls across the land morphed into palaces of democracy. [emphasis added.]
Okay, calm down, The BBC. We’re all proud of suffrage, etc. Let’s not be children about it. Oh, wait, here’s a funny sentence.
Dogs may not yet be entitled to vote but they are allowed to come and watch as long as they don’t disrupt the vote.
HAHAHAHAHA, why not!?!?!?! Gay men are trying to marry them all across America, why not extend the vote to them in Britain? All the British dogs are going to immigrate here to marry each other and vote a goddamn Mexican horse into office. And speaking of, look at this:
Rural constituencies might have cases of voters riding to the polling station. In such cases, horses and ponies should be tethered up outside. [emphasis added.]
What kind of feudal system bullcrap is that?! People riding ponies up to vote for the “Tories”? Am I in some kind of bullcrap fantasy novel?
There is no guidance on other animals such as rabbits, ferrets or pot-bellied pigs, so any decision will be at the discretion of presiding officers.
“Hey, look at me, I’m going to vote with my pot-bellied pig! Who am I? Oh, just the world’s biggest jackass, that’s all.”
Things get even weirder when they start going over the clothes restrictions, or lack-thereof.
“There’s a candidate standing in Westminster as a pirate. And if he comes in to vote in a pirate costume as is likely, we won’t turn him away. The same goes for any supporters coming to vote as pirates.” [emphasis added.]
So, that’s a thing that happens in England. Which, eh, I have no problem with a pirate running for office and his live-action role-playing supporters turning out to vote.
Are there any clothing choices that aren’t acceptable in this wacky land ruled by ponies and pirates?
Recently a branch of Tesco banned customers from shopping in pyjamas. Would polling staff take a similar hard line against inappropriate clothing?
“Pyjamas are fine, provided they’re not indecent. And so is a builder who’s stripped to the waist. We want people to vote, we don’t want to turn people away,” he says. But a line does have to be drawn somewhere, he says. “A topless woman wouldn’t be appropriate as voters might get distracted.” [emphasis added.]
Two things about that block quote. First — “pyjamas”! Hahahahahaha. Can I vote in my pee-yays? I can! Can my pot-bellied pig vote in his piggy pee-yays? NO!? Well why didn’t we just let Hitler win!? Second, I feel like more topless women, not fewer, would increase voter turnout. Just sayin’. Just. Sayin’. This guy knows what I’m talking about.
What about this, BBC: Can I wear my V for Vendetta mask to the polling booth?
Rob Connelly, head of electoral services in Birmingham City Council, says that there’s no requirement for voters to show their face.
That is actually a fantastic rule that we should adopt in the New World. It would’ve made voting for Kerry a lot easier. That, and being stoned and drunk would make voting for any politician — because they are all just awful — way, way better. England?
Polling station staff cannot refuse a voter simply because they are drunk or under the influence of drugs.
At least that explains why everyone is dressing up their piggies in pee-yays. So I can just get straight pissed and still wank the lever, or whatever they call it?
However, if the presiding officer suspects you are incapable of voting you will be asked a series of questions to determine whether you are up to the task of casting your ballot. If the voter cannot answer satisfactorily they will be told to come back when they’ve sobered up. [emphasis added.]
I assume that “until they’ve sobered up” means “the next election.” I mean, who is getting shitty at 10 AM and then sobering up to vote by like 6 or whatever. Seems unlikely.
Then there’s some more rules, like your child can come with you but can’t mark the X, and no ghetto blasters. Again, ghetto blasters and topless women, folks. This isn’t rocket science.
Okay, I block-quoted my way through this entire thing. Let’s leave on an exciting note, where quick thinking on the part of polling officials saved the day:
“Another time we got to the polling station, only to find the store of ballot papers had been thrown out by the cleaners the night before. We had to hurriedly send out for replacements.”