‘You cannot complain about tomorrow’s election result if you’re going to throw away your right to vote’

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  • Marie Claire's Digital Features Editor Jenny Proudfoot has her say...

    The 2019 UK general election is scheduled to be held on Thursday 12 December, set to see citizens take to the polling stations in force.

    With the crux of the snap election being how to proceed with Brexit, anything could come out of tomorrow, and as the party leaders approach their last few hours of canvasing, a hung parliament seems likely.

    On my commute to work this morning however, I was disheartened as I scrolled through my social media platforms. Why? Because none of my friends or contemporaries were even talking about the election. And while this could just be down to Instagram algorithms, I have a horrible sinking feeling that it might actually reflect people’s lack of interest.

    Voting turnout in the UK is a real problem, with only 68.8% of those eligible casting their vote in the 2017 election. And while we can’t predict this year’s turnout figures, the social media silence doesn’t fill me with hope.

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    ‘I’m just bored of it all now’, say some, while others claim: ‘I don’t believe what any of the politicians are saying’. To those people I say, ‘I get you. But please don’t give up.’

    However, if you’re one of the people using the most popular excuse, ‘I won’t make a difference’, I say ‘You’re wrong’.

    Non-voters too often think that their ballot paper won’t make a difference, but according to the BBC, ‘the number of non-voters is actually greater than the sitting MP’s majority in 551 out of 650 constituencies: that’s more than 80%.’

    In fact, non voters could actually have changed the outcome in most constituencies.

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    Whatever decision comes out of tomorrow, it is going to affect you to some degree on an individual level. And whether it’s the inflation in chocolate bar prices or the changes that a Brexit could bring to women’s reproductive rights, you need to have your say.

    Whatever your opinion – have it, voice it and vote.

    None of us can get angry for an outcome if we didn’t even try to prevent it.

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    Last minute General Election questions

    Where is my polling station?

    Your allocated polling station should be on your card, but if you have not received your card or have misplaced it, you can also find out via GOV.UK by simply entering your postcode.

    When do the polling stations open?

    The polling stations will be opening tomorrow from 7am until 10pm.

    I can’t find my polling card…

    That’s ok! You don’t actually need to bring your polling card with you. Quote your name at the register and if you’re on the list, you will be allowed in. According to the website, you don’t need to bring photo ID, but we would just in case.

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