Sunday, 8 September 2013

Voting seemed to

go reasonably well yesterday. I am not referring to the results here but the process. Your view of the results will depend on which side of politics you choose to support.
I voted reasonably early in the day. It would have been earlier if the Senior Cat had managed to surface a little earlier. He was behaving like a Night Owl and determined to finish a book the previous night.
Having voted (and it took me nearly twenty minutes to do my own thing and fill out the Senate paper below the line) I prowled out only to be greeted by someone I only know by sight. He obviously knows me rather better because he promptly accosted me with an urgent hiss, "Cat, can you help me?"
What was the problem? He had broken his glasses that morning and would not be able to read the ballot papers. I queued again with him and, after he had explained, I showed him where to place the numbers he wanted. Thankfully, a simple and straightforward vote for a major party.
I then went off to keep my date in the neighbouring electorate. Yes, they were just arriving. My former student's carer left him in my care. We queued just like everyone else, papers at the ready. I had advised the AEC beforehand and we went in. My student was asked for his name - and indicated by looking at it on his wheelchair tray, asked if he had voted before at this election. "No" by looking down at the floor. His name was marked off. The papers were put on his wheelchair tray and we were given a space in a quiet corner.  It took a little while but the papers were eventually marked to his satisfaction. I folded them and, on a nod from him, placed them in the appropriate boxes. He was looking terribly earnest and serious and I could not tell what he was really thinking. Then, outside, he broke into one of his brilliant grins and just about knocked me flat as his arms flailed  uncontrollably around.
By arrangement I went on to help several other people who needed assistance during the day but they are articulate and sight impaired or unable to write. They made straightforward votes and all above the line for the Senate but none of them were quite the thrill his vote was. His was thoughtful and careful and I could guess at his reasoning. 
It was a good moment. He had, at the age of 42, voted just like the majority of other people for the first time in his life. He experienced the right to line up and participate the way most people do it. He did not have to worry his postal vote might not get there.
This man was once the child of whom people once said, "He'll never learn anything."
Never ever say that of anybody.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Have noticed that the new opposition are talking about the government ... as expected, but the government seems to be getting stuck in to the job already, and not talking about the opposition a great deal.