There could have been a whole number of ways to mark a ballot in an election. It’s just that the most popular seems to be to mark an X in the circle beside your favourite candidate’s name. I don’t know whose idea this was.
We could have stroked out all the candidates we didn’t want, with a line through their name, leaving our favourite candidate untouched. We could have circled our favourite candidate’s name. Or my personal favourite which would have been to put a check mark in the circle beside our favourite candidate’s name.
One wonders why they chose the X to mark the ballot. The only reason that I can think of for this is that they first thought of signing your name beside the candidate you wanted. But of course that doesn’t work in a secret ballot. Signing an X is a way to anonymize your signature.
But all of us, who have been put through school since early childhood to adulthood, see the X as meaning wrong. When you put an X beside your favourite candidate, aren’t you saying they are wrong for the job?
Aren’t I, as a voter, just manifesting bad candidates by putting an X beside their name? Is that why all candidates seem invariably bad when they get elected and show their true colours? Is it our fault for writing that they were wrong?
The candidate’s point of view may be what’s important here. It’s true that there are a disproportionate number of lawyers named Lawrence and dentists named Dennis. People look to their own names to help guide them in life.
The candidates are praying for people to put an X beside their name. They know that this symbol means wrong. So they find that if they win, they have been “wronged” the most. So isn’t that the reason to give the voters exactly what they don’t want? Then, for the next election the voters will want to wrong you the most which could result in a second term…
Let’s stop this bad symbolism in its tracks, right now. Let’s demand better symbolism in our voting. Which is exactly why I chose putting a check mark in the circle beside my favourite candidate’s name, as my favourite way to vote. Better symbolism should lead to a better government is what I say.