A story about peculiar polling stations this week got me thinking – why do they nearly always have to be in dreary and dusty village halls?
In order to inspire a new generation of young voters, why not give people a bit more incentive to visit the polling booth?
What about a pop-up booth in the local shopping centre? Or maybe one in the cinema? Perhaps more people could be encouraged to play their part in democracy if they could combine it with a bit of shopping or a film.
Gillingham, in Kent, and the Essex village of Belchamp have both got the right idea, with polling stations in local pubs. What more of an incentive to vote than a quick pint or a glass of wine while you’re there (after placing your vote of course, we wouldn’t want any mistakes!).
Let’s have more polling stations in buildings people would enjoy visiting, such as buildings of historic or architectural interest, or buildings that are convenient for people to visit, such as a supermarket.
Maybe polling stations could offer a bit of light entertainment for voters such as a few circus performers, or some quick refreshments such as a tea and cake stall? There could be a quick game of bingo, perhaps some massage services on offer or a couple of singers to serenade you as you place your cross.
Some of my favourites in the BBC’s story this week included a launderette in Oxford, Torquay Museum in Devon and even a couple of hairdressing salons in Hull.
Voting, of course, should be taken seriously – but we could make it a bit more fun at the same time couldn’t we with a few more of these types of venues?