#Votefie: Voting in 2015

by - 8:13 PM

When I turned eighteen last July, I got a little more than a cake, a new stereo and a friendship bracelet. I also received the right to drive a car without an adult in the passenger's seat, the right to drink myself into coma with all the heavy liquor I want and, scariest of all: the right to vote.
Here we are, nine months later, on election day. Today I'll be a first-time voter.


It started a few weeks ago, when a voting-pass came in through the mail. When I was little, this meant my parents would say: 'Oh, voting, again.' In the year 2015, this pass has a different effect. People are reminded to go voting, but what's more important to them is picking the perfect option for their social media addiction. There are three:

  1. Take an early votefie (a selfie during election time of you being involved with voting) with your vote pass and post it on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, hand them out as flyers, put them on buildings, sell them to a museum, it doesn't matter as long as people click that like-button! #Votefie #Nofilter #Imquitepatheticwhenitcomestovoting
  2. Post a picture of the pass on Facebook with the caption 'NOOOOOO'. Because voting is a way of punishment and you shouldn't feel priviliged at all that you even have a vote.
  3. Don't post anything at all and try to decide who you're going to vote for.
It probably won't surprise you that I went with option three. A week after the pass came in, we received a list with candidates. I'd already given some thought to voting and was pretty sure for whom I'd vote. But then I discovered I had to vote not just once, but twice. Dutch politics is fairly Difficult to understand. Long story short: I have to vote once for people who look after the dykes and rivers (yes, that's a thing around here) and once for the Provincial States, where the people we voted for will vote for other people for us and THOSE people do have a real say within the government. I think. 
How do you fold this thing?!
Shortly after looking at the list of candidates, I wished I'd paid more attention in my Social Studies class in high school. Not just because I only have a very basic idea of what I'm voting for, but also because I had no clue how the fold the list of candidates again. A useful skill I never picked up on, because I thought it was pointless. After five minutes of intense struggle and three more minutes debating whether or not I should take a votefie at this point as satire on actual votefies, I gave up and called my mom. My mom, with her amazing mom-powers, had the list folded within five seconds...

A few days after looking at the list, I made my own list of candidates. Dutch voting is different than American, because we have a little more than two big parties to vote for. We have twelve in this case. None of them had had an effective campaign, so I fell back on my rusty knowledge about politics from last year's Social Studies class. One by one I put a big red cross through all the parties I didn't like. To give you an insight: I'm not a firm believer in the Bible as government, so that took three parties down already. The two parties that are in power now didn't do their job so well, so no vote for them. Then there's a party that's starting to remind me of Hitler's NSDAP and that scares me too much. I'm also not voting for a party that wants my country to be swallowed up by 'Europe' and the Party for the Animals will never get my vote, because I am not an animal.
There was one option left and I didn't really like it. Until I took another look at the candidates list. There, almost at the end, I found my party. It's a local party, so they know exactly what's going on where I live. That's what's important to me, so I'll be voting for them today.

After coming home, I went to the retirement home. Not to say hi to elderly citizens, but to vote. For some reason the voting booth nearest to my home is in a retirement home. I took my voting pass and passport, received two voting ballots and went to the booth.
It was my big moment. Two ballots, one red pencil. No advanced technology, just pencil and some paper. I took a deep breath. Most people would take a votefie with their ballot now. That's what seems most important these days: taking the perfect selfie during election time. I concentrated on the ballots, though. Because after I'd used the pencil to vote, I had to fold the ballots. And just like the candidates list, it wouldn't fold properly. I struggled and struggled, folded and unfolded... A queue began to form at the voting booth. I panicked and folded it totally wrong. Not that it really matters.
I dropped the ballots in a gigantic garbage bin (no kidding). My vote was ready to be counted.

Voting was exciting. Folding ballots and lists is a lot less exciting, but necessary. For a first-time voter, I did well. I can't wait for the next elections to come up.

Stay Awesome!

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10 Fellow Ramblers

  1. I completely agree with and respect your process of elimination while voting. Very logical, It's cool to hear about it from a first time voter!

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    1. Thank you, I'm glad to hear you enjoyed this post :)
      I had no idea how to choose a party I wanted to vote for, so elimination seemed the best option. It worked out well in the end.

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  2. There are so many things here that can go completely wrong when it comes to voting. My entire math class was filled up with talk of economics, since the homework that was passed out was easy and the discussion was among half of the class, the other half competing in a state competition. Politics aren't really my thing, but I have to be aware. At least, thanks to you, I have an idea of how I should decide on who to vote!

    xoxo Morning

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    1. Oh, that's so kind!
      Politics never really were my thing, until I made some new friends who were very into politics. I do think it's good that you want to be aware of what's going on ;) And to be honest, I only pay attentiont to politics during election time.

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  3. I'm turning 18 at the end of this year, and I'm beyond excited about voting. I'm a huge government and politics nerd so being able to vote is like the epitome of my government love. It's fascinating that you have 12 parties within your country. I've never been a fan of the two party system in America (or political parties at all for that matter) because for a country that is as vast and diverse (culturally, religiously, etc.) as the US I find it hard to believe that everyone's political beliefs can be represented in two mere parties. (But that's a different topic for a different day.)

    Congrats on your first time voting! :)

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    1. So cool to hear from someone who's excited to go voting! I remember how amgry I was when I wasn't allowed to vote last time, because I was three months too young. You'll love voting, it makes you feel so powerful and involved.
      We actually have more than 12 parties, but it depends on the type of elections how many parties compete. I hope to see a post from you when you're going to vote for the first time ;)

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  4. I really liked this post, not only because I'm a politics nerd but because we have an equally perplexing system here in Ireland.. The really confusing thing is that you can vote for up to 10 people in the same election! You have to rank them in order of preference, and all the politicians tell their supporters who they should put as their 2nd/3rd/etc. It's a complicated web of identical middle-aged men.

    I laughed when I read about the giant garbage bin, because it's the same where I live! Sadly, our parties aren't as exciting as your animal party :P

    I really like your recent posts, btw, you have a way of making everyday things seem so amusing :)

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    1. Gosh, 10 people in one election. I already had a hard enough time choosing a single party!
      There's a huge amount of middle-aged men in Dutch politics too. That's why my mom Always votes for the first woman on the list.
      So you have the garbage bins too? Haha, that's so cool. Living in the 21st century and still putting our ballots in bins with a lock on them XD
      The animal party is so, so, so pointless... There are several other totally pointless parties around. Maybe I should do a post on those next time I go voting.

      Oh, and thank you of course! I see it as a challenge to make the ordinary seem a little less ordinary. It makes life just that little bit more fun :)

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  5. I don't like politics much but what can we do it's an important part of our lives given it runs the country and all.I remember my first vote last year people were going crazy posting their votfie (Showing a finger with a paint mark which they put when you vote :P).It was a hard deciding between all the different political parties.I went about it by seeing who's the worst of them all.The party that was in power at that time was horrible and there was a new party which looked promising but it had a lot of power hungry young people who I knew would be bad as political leaders then there were some small parties which well won't be able to make a difference and had awful leaders.Which left me only 1 political party to vote for it wasn't as bad as others and it's new leader (Current prime minister of India - they won :P) had good merits about him. :)

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    1. As long as you go voting, it doens't matter if you like or dislike politics. At least voting can make a change :)
      People here went so crazy about taking votefies that the politicians discussed about legalizing it for days, I guess we have a law now stating that it is allowed to take one, as long as you don't show which party you've voted for.
      You're tactics worked well if you voted on the party that won ;)

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