In case you’ve been living under a rock, you’ll know today’s the day to vote in the referendum to repeal or retain the Eighth Amendment. While your mind is more than likely made up already, the question might still remain – how do I actually go about it? How to vote to give people bodily autonomy?
Here’s the lowdown!
Voting stations will be open until 10pm tonight for you to get in there and give your Yes vote. They’re staying open late to accommodate people who have lives, like those whose lives are worth something beyond being an incubator.
If you are registered to vote, don’t panic if you didn’t get a voting card, you can bring your ID to the voting station. It’ll be the one time you can be proud of that passport photo and its role in upending generations of subjugation and hypocrisy, instead of cringing at your hair and the big cranky face on you that you’re stuck with until the expiration date.
WHAT TO WEAR?!
Before you go into the polling station take off all badges, Repeal jumpers, you know, all the things you’re rightly proud of wearing, as canvassing isn’t allowed within 50 metres of the station. Similar to the way dignity for some isn’t allowed across the country. Yet.
Don’t take videos or photos inside. Wait till you get outside to pump that fist in the air, letting the world know just how sick of this crap you are.
THE BALLOT PAPER
Here’s what the ballot will look like. Don’t be surprised by the fact it actually doesn’t say ‘Repeal The Eighth’ in big, bold, hard-to-ignore letters, the opposite of the way it was so easy for the country to ignore the suffering of countless people who found themselves in a situation which needed support.
The ballot will actually speak about approving the proposal to amend the Constitution contained in the Thirty-sixth Bill. It’s still the same vote – the Yes is still a yes, the No is still a sick joke. Make sure it is stamped and perforated by the staff or else it is invalid. Invalid like the ‘points’ made on the posters for No.
MAKING YOUR MARK
Mark the correct box with a X, in solidarity with Miss X, the 14 year old rape victim the State tried to block from having an abortion. Don’t draw a smiley face, love hearts or anything else. Just the X. The X which campaigners have fought tooth and nail for us to have the chance to mark.
If you worry you might have marked the wrong box or made a mistake, immediately inform a member of staff, do not put it in the ballot box. If you weren’t genuinely confused about how to vote and intended to deliberately spoil your vote all along… don’t even, okay?
When you are satisfied with your vote, remembering it’s about more than just you in that moment, that it’s about teenagers, children, toddlers, who will all grow up affected by the result of this day, then place your ballot in the box.
Try then to go about your day, despite the panic, the knot of anxiety in the stomach, the fingernails bitten to nothing, in the heartfelt hope your country, the country of all those forced to travel for what should be a human right, will finally see sense, show compassion, and take its head out of the church’s ass.
So now you know how to vote, get out and do it! Your vote counts. Your voice matters.
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