August 15, 2010 by jessperriam
(or When is a vote a donkey vote?)
I am a nerd. I am such a freaking nerd.
I am a ‘vote early, vote often’ kind of nerd.
I feel like I’m 75 years old, extolling the virtues of living in a democracy that dictates you must vote.
Anyway, I’ve already told you that when you’re an Aussie overseas, you don’t have to vote.
But when your life has turned into a Choose Your Own Adventure (minus the mad scientist who offers you some groundbreaking hoverbike technology), it’s a little fun to find an Australian embassy on the list and head there.
So diddly dee Dublin it was. Ireland!
I got there – my backpacks didn’t. They decided an extended stay in Manchester would be the order of the day. And I didn’t really care that I didn’t have them. Weird.
But a stroll to the back blocks of Dublin to the Australian Embassy (ok, it’s not quite like the NZ Embassy in Flight of the Conchords) and it was strange to see a building flying the flag. Don’t worry, I didn’t cry.
So on the 7th floor, on a random Saturday morning in Dublin I voted in the Australian Federal Election.
Which is great. Except I don’t really like or respect any of the candidates for my local seat.
“I so want to donkey vote,” I eagerly told the embassy staffer.
“You can’t do that!” She said with genuine horror, astonished that I’d even contemplate wasting a precious, precious vote.
So I voted. Properly.
But I put a little note at the bottom of the ballot paper:
“I honestly don’t feel comfortable with any of these people representing me… I guess I just donkey voted.”
I voted on the senate ballot (below the line, you’ll be pleased to know I can count to 55.) properly, responsibly, like a good citizen.
I went to put the ballot in the box and I posed for a photo – I wasn’t the first.
I know it’s nerdy but I wanted to prove that I did it. In Dublin.
And the first thing I did as I walked out of the embassy?
I called El Presidente to brag my little brains out.
“Diddly dee! I just donkey voted in Dublin!”
“Yeah. Did you number the boxes?”
“Yes. But I wrote a note at the bottom, that’s a donkey vote, right?”
“Uh no. That’s still counted… the Electoral Commission like to rule in favour of the intentions of the voter.”
“Well I said I didn’t like any of them!”
“Yeah… but you numbered the boxes.”
Trust him to rain on my parade.
Anyway, I still hold out hope that the Electoral Commission will respect my decision to go all the way to Dublin to donkey vote, and indeed uphold my decision to cast an informal vote.
After that interesting morning, I headed out to a far more interesting place: The Guinness Storehouse.
Why did it take an election to bring me to Dublin?