After six weeks of campaigning, manifesto leaks and u-turns, confusing polls and a hefty amount of mudslinging, the General Election is finally here.
But we know that there are still some people who probably won’t turn out to vote - after all, even the EU referendum turnout was 72.2%, and that was the highest in more than two decades.
If you’re not planning on voting, we’re not going to give you a lecture about the people who’ve died fighting for your right to vote or bang on about the Suffragettes chaining themselves to the railings of Parliament.
But we are going to take some of the most common excuses and explain why they’re are, quite frankly, a load of codswallop.
I don’t have time
Polling stations are open from 7am until 10pm - that’s a whopping 15 hour window to go and get it done.
All you have to do is go and put a cross in a box, it really doesn’t take long, even if there’s a bit of a queue.
Go in the middle of the day if you want to maximise your chances of getting in and out in a jiffy.
I don’t know where my polling station is
You should have received your polling card in the post by now, which tells you where your polling station is.
If you’ve lost it or can’t remember, check Where Do I Vote?. Type in your postcode and they’ll tell you where to head on polling day.
I don’t know who my local candidates are
Who Can I Vote For? is a simple site where you can type in your postcode and it will tell you who is running in your constituency, as well as some information about them.
Okay, so I know who’s running but I don’t know anything about them
Who Can I Vote For contains some information about candidates but because this is put together by volunteers, it may not be complete.
However, most candidates will have information online - just give them a google and you’re likely to find their party manifesto, statement to voters and so on.
You can also visit They Work For You for information on your most recent MP and see how they voted on issues in Parliament.
I don’t know who to vote for or who represents me best
There are a whole host of different tools out there you can use to help you decide.
We’ve put together a list of politically independent quizzes, tests and other helpful bits and pieces to help you figure out who your views most align with.
I live in a safe seat so my vote is wasted
Vote swapping could be for you.
Swap My Vote matches up people who want to pair up. Think of it as online dating for tactical voting.
Vote swapping is when a voter in one constituency agrees to vote tactically for a candidate or party who wouldn’t have been their first choice but has a greater chance of winning in that area.
In exchange, for a voter in another constituency will vote tactically for the candidate the first voter prefers, because that candidate has a greater possibility of winning in that district.
To learn more about vote swapping, read our explainer here.
I don’t do politics
We’ll just refer you to this advert from the Electoral Commission from 2004. It’s an oldie but a goodie:
I would only spoil my ballot paper anyway
In that case, go and spoil your ballot paper.
Spoilt ballot papers are recorded so it’s clear that you did go to the polling station, rather than appearing apathetic and being recorded as a no-show.
While we encourage you to exercise your democratic right wisely, we’ve rounded up some of the best examples we saw last time round (and a few other elections) here.
Vote Or Vote None is a campaign to encourage voters to spoil their papers by writing ‘none’ across them.
On their website, they explain: “Even if you are fed up with UK politics… use your vote.
“Either Vote for a candidate who you trust to work hard for things you believe in,
or Vote NONE in protest. Voting NONE is a positive protest, to say: ‘I believe in democracy, but I do not support any of the candidates. I want better politics in the UK’.”
I forgot to register to vote
Okay fine, you can’t vote in this election. But as the saying goes: “no vote, no voice”.
Make sure you register to vote next time to make sure politicians have to listen to you!