This entry was posted on
Friday, June 2nd, 2017 at
10:50 am and is filed
under UK General Election 2017.
And lo, the Electoral Commission did convey their wisdom, saying unto the keepers of ballots:
3.18 A ballot paper marked by means other than a pencil should not be rejected simply because of that.
It is clear from this and the surrounding guidance that we in this country are free to use pens or markers or Sharpies or anything we please other than the usual pencil-on-a-string to mark our ballots, but there are many reasons to stick with convention, so with that in mind I am here today to ask two things of you:
1. I ask that you plan to use a pencil when you vote.
2. I ask that you vote with your very own special #votingpencil.
Here is a picture of mine. I’m a sucker for puns, so I’ve gone for a proper groaner*, and I have plenty of room left over to mark it with the names/years of future elections, assuming we all live that long:
(*HINT: Mine is the very first #votingpencil. )
There’s all sorts of easy and safe ways to personalise a pencil and some of you are already thinking about them, I am sure; I went old-skool in my example because I’m a nostalgist and I think this method has a certain ease and charm.
I will say to mind anything sharp if you’re a novice, as we wouldn’t want blood on the carpet. Always carve away from the body, people, and this includes fingers! Sandpaper has pencil paint off in a few strokes, so maybe try that.
Now, I will also remind everybody, because there are a lot of a new people here; we are each bound to express ourselves within the law, and further, we will be going out of our way to avoid being a pain in the arse, because my vote and your vote is as valuable as anybody else’s.
So, be sensible and respectful: if you feel that the design/slogan of your pencil is overtly political, and I really hope that it will be for some people, then by all means show it off whenever you please in everyday life… but be mindful to have it tucked away in a safe pocket when you enter a polling station to vote.
Of course, once you’re alone inside the booth, it’s just you, the ballot paper(s) and your #votingpencil, so you’re golden.
That’s the wider plan, but I am beginning today by asking you to (a) get a HB or 2B pencil that won’t let you down, (b) think about the statement you wish to make on your pencil, then (c) think about how you want to go about expressing it on a pencil. Then commit.
Remember: not only is this the pencil that you will be carrying with you during this election campaign (like an analog fidget spinner), but this will also be the pencil that you will hold in your hands when you look back and remember the day that we decided what kind of country we were going to be.
That’s a pretty big deal not matter which way the vote goes, so either way I know you’re probably going to want to be keeping your #votingpencil. That being the case, you might want to knock it out in the moment like I so obviously did, but you might instead choose to invest some time in it and make it real pretty, much to the annoyance of others.
Take the whole week if you like, or publish your personalised pencil porn today. If it’s not too forward of me, any time between now and the election, I’d very much like to see what puts lead in your pencil.