What a great day for democracy!

Ballot boxThe sun is shining, polling stations are open and people are out and about voting.

What has made the day great so far for me is taking my children to the polling station to vote.

I had two excited faces this morning when I told my children I was taking them with me to vote before school. Mummy works in elections and not only do they feel a part of what mummy does but also I have found this to be a way of explaining what mummy does.

I am lucky enough to live in an area where the local candidates are well known in the community and to my children – hence the smiley faces!

Seeing the local candidates at the polling station this morning and then their names on the ballot paper made the process even more exciting for us all and a sense of really belonging to our community and taking part in the elections.

Once in the polling station, I explained to my children what elections I was voting in (the locals and the police and crime commissioner), which coloured ballot paper related to which election and how many crosses I had to mark on each paper.

I also explained why people vote and the importance of doing so, and that people vote for lots of other things too like who will will the X factor – I think that one might have clinched it!

Once I had completed my ballot papers I handed the orange one (local) to my daughter who popped it in the ballot box for me and my son popped the white paper (PCCs) into the other one. Once again done with a smile and a sense of ‘I have done something good today mummy’.

We then left the polling station we had a chat with the candidates, wished them luck and had our photo taken to mark the occasion.

Then it was off to school where they were able to tell their friends and teachers what we had been up to before school. The deputy head, who was teaching my daughter this morning, was telling the other children that he had to go and vote later and how important democracy is. I hope that we may have also some reminded some other teachers, and maybe parents too, to vote today.

Democracy is important. It enables us to have a voice and a say in who is elected to represent us. It can also be a fun family outing as it was for me today.

So I encourage you to make sure you go out and vote today in the glorious sunshine and take the kids along too.

Katy Knock
Policy Manager
The Electoral Commission

 

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