The Independent: If you don’t want to vote, spoil your ballot.

As published in the Independent

(I am especially proud of this article… because of the number of times I managed to get references to drawings of penises into one article without the editor removing them.)

If there’s no one you can stand to vote for, spoil your ballot and let your disillusionment be heard

At last year’s election a third of registered voters at didn’t turn up at all. If they’d all come and spoiled their ballots they would have outnumbered every other party for votes.

There I was making some casual conversation with some youths the other day. One girl, let’s call her Hayley, has just turned 18 and today will be her first chance to vote. I asked her if she was excited about voting.

“Nah,” she replied. “Not going to bother.”

Oh. I asked why and she went on to explain she thought they were all “f*cking boring”. “None of them care about me so why should I care about them?”

Let’s face it, being young and unimpressed is nothing new. I’ve been young and unimpressed by politics for years. I’m now less young, but still unimpressed. Although I’m now proudly in the 25-34 age bracket my contemporaries are just as bad. I’ve met 30-year-olds who’ve never bothered to vote, most of whom aren’t going to start today.

It’s the same every election. Young voters are predicted to yet again provide the lowest turnout for today’s election. While I shall be heading down to the polling station after work tonight, a majority of my fellow 18 to 34-year-olds will not. And it’s you lot who I’m writing this for – as I’m sure that, for many of you, it’s not because you don’t care.

The major consensus is that there is no one worth voting for, and I can see why. Whatever their party, politicians increasingly seem to be trying to fit into the same mould and many young voters feel ignored in current politics.

But it’s a catch-22 situation: as 18 to 34-year-olds are less likely to vote, politicians are less likely to speak to them. This is where we ‘millennials’ need to rise up and make ourselves heard. So I’m suggesting that tonight, on your way home or on your way to the pub, you should swing by your polling station at some point before 10pm and get hold of your ballot paper.

Sure, you may think there is not one single candidate in your constituency that deserves your ‘X’ but why not put a little bit of much-needed fun into politics?

Because lo and behold, if you turn up to the polling station tonight, in your hands will be a perfectly good piece of paper for you to make your point loud and clear.

If you don’t want to vote for anyone – don’t! Just write ‘THERE’S NO ONE TO VOTE FOR’. Write ‘I *heart* Benedict Cumberbatch’. Write whatever floats your boat. Draw a massive penis on it if you want – turn your anger into art.

As well as providing some much-needed entertainment for those poor sods who have to count the votes tonight, spoiled ballots say a lot more than you think they do.

At last year’s election a third of registered voters at didn’t turn up at all. What if most of them didn’t see anyone they fancied voting for? If they’d all come and spoiled their ballots they would have outnumbered every other party for votes.

Imagine! More phallic drawings than votes for the Conservatives!

If our voting power became more prominent, maybe us youths would be given a break by the rest of society. So today let’s show them we do care. We do bother. We draw penises!

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