I arrived at the polling station at 12:00. Typical London rain was forecasted. The queue went on for miles. They were all Romanians, lined up to vote in the country’s Presidential elections. I joined the queue and I waited. I didn’t bring any friends with me because I though the election organizers would learn their lesson from last week’s fiasco, where they failed to cope with the masses that queued to vote. Mistake. Time started passing. One hour, two hours, three hours. I didn’t eat anything that day. I didn’t bring water with me. I could’ve asked around for a bottle, but I didn’t want to. I had something to prove: that they won’t break me. A fourth hour had passed. Five hours, six hours, seven hours. The queue was barely moving. It was 8:45 PM. In front of the gates of the Romanian Consulate in London, the queue was no longer a line. It was a sea of people. At 8:45, the crowd got angry. The polling station was about to close. The queue didn’t matter anymore, I started to push my way through the crowd, to get to vote. By the time I reached the gates, I saw a cordon of policemen. They said the consulate called for protection from the “rowdy” crowd outside. I didn’t get to vote that day, but when I looked around, the people weren’t angry anymore. They were happy, because even though the government did everything in its power to stop us from voting, we won. We voted them out.
Voting may be a chore in the developed world. Don’t forget however, that for many people, a chance to vote is so much more than civic routine. Go out and vote.