Why I vote

Today are the European and local elections. I got up early, like I always do on election day, to get to the polling station. And, before I put my ballot paper in the box, I’m excited. I’m always a little excited… every time.

Now, I understand that this probably isn’t normal behaviour. And there are lots of things that don’t make me *that* normal. But I like the ritual of election day, my parents always got to the polling station early – so I do. I also feel part of something, I like the awkward nods that one gives one’s neighbours (in London that is – not in Wales, where I’m from originally of course). I like the booths – they’re so old fashioned and well preserved. It now feels so ridiculous to me that we vote in this way. I like the people sitting on the desks. And I always worry that I’m in the wrong place and that I’ve registered successfully, they’re always so reassuring.

But much more important than this is that I think of the people who have died and are dying so that people like me can vote in elections.

I think very much about my great grandmother Margot. And I feel very connected with her on these days. On election days I think of her alot. Margot was a suffragette, originally from Germany, but moved to Britain where she had my Granny. Margot went to prison so that women can have the vote. She threw a brick through the Home Office window and she ended up in Holloway. It must have taken such guts. On election day I wish I was more courageous. Just like Margot.

But the most important reason I vote, well, simply because of hope. I vote in hope, not in fear.

In hope of a more fair, greener, just, democratic and equal Britain. The kind of future that 38 Degrees members give me hope for every day. The kind of Britain that I hope gives more people around me a sense that voting is more worthwhile. That it changes something, anything and that politicians listen to them. I vote because one day I hope we, together, can achieve these things.

Here’s a picture of my great grandmother Margot (she’s the one rocking the plaits in the top left corner), with her sisters in Holloway: .

Please share why you vote, or why you don’t chose to as a comment below.