I tried to vote, I really did

Image: Evening Standard

I couldn’t vote today, despite my best efforts.

Here’s why:

1. I did try to register to vote where I live. This is in Peckham, south east London (and yes it’s very “trendy”). However there was a problem: before I moved in, the house I rent with friends was two addresses; it was a doctor’s surgery, with a flat upstairs. Now it’s just one address. Registering to vote relies upon an address database. Sadly for me, this database isn’t up to date.

Luckily I had a back up plan: go to where my parents live, as I am still registered to vote there. They live in Twickenham, south west London. I just go there after work on polling day.

2. I rocked up to Waterloo. All trains to Twickenham ‘cancelled’. Apparently a machine that fixes rail tracks set the tracks on fire. “Never mind” I thought “I’ll just take the tube to Richmond, then take the bus.” Polling stations are open until 10pm, so I’ll be fine. There might even be time to have dinner with my dad and step-mom.

3. On the district line, travelling to Richmond, the driver makes an announcement: “A lorry has hit a bridge in Kew. All trains to Richmond are cancelled.” Crap. At this point it’s 9pm. It’s too late to get the polling station in time to vote. “Looks like I won’t be voting” I called my step-mum to say.

Ok, maybe I could have tried harder, but I did try.

Some thoughts / personal lessons:

  • I could have done a postal vote.
  • Next time I’m voting in the morning.
  • A single, open register of addresses is needed. We’ll have one of these soon, which is great to know.
  • I don’t always look at Citymapper before I travel. Especially when it’s a route I take a lot. Maybe the service could do ‘disruption’ notifications for my saved routes.
  • Voting for people who move a lot is harder than for those who don’t.
  • Maybe letting or estate agents could register people to vote (my housemate George’s suggestion).
  • I’m excited to vote online, whenever that day comes.