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Local government elections. Nearly half of Poles did not vote. Experts on the causes

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They gave up their voting rights and, at their own request, excluded themselves from the group of decision-makers. Nearly half of voters stayed at home during the local elections. They explain their behavior by lack of time, logistics or difficulties associated with voting outside their place of residence. Material from the “Poland and World” magazine.

More than 48 percent of voters did not turn out to vote. When asked why they did not take part in the local elections, they explained the lack of time, work and difficulties in reaching their hometown.

The Opinia24 studio checked why Poles did not vote for local authorities. – One of the main reasons was that Poles did not live in their place of residence, so they had procedural difficulties in participating in the elections – says social research expert Anna Trząsalska.

Voting away from home

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For researchers, the most intriguing group is the 20 percent of voters who did not vote because they have a different registered and residential address. In local elections, we vote where we are registered. If we live elsewhere, we must be added to the voter register in a given city, town or village.

– You could vote where you lived, and not where you were registered, but the most common explanation was that this procedure was difficult, complicated, even discouraging – notes Anna Trząsalska.

Nearly half of Poles did not take part in the electionsShutterstock

The social research expert explains that the procedure for joining the list in the parliamentary elections was much simpler. – It was less than two minutes, a few clicks and it was done. In local elections this procedure is more complicated. It requires providing a document confirming this place of residence – he adds.

For example, if we are registered in Łódź, but we live in Gdańsk and we want to vote there, we must be added to the voter register in Gdańsk. The application can be submitted at the city office or online. The application must be accompanied by a lease agreement or an electricity bill so that the official can be sure that we really live in the capital of Pomerania.

Pawłowski: politicians and political parties mobilize voters

Among other reasons for not voting during the local elections, 19 percent of respondents declare that they did not have time to vote, 15 percent that they were sick, and 9 percent that they simply did not feel like it. – If a man wants to meet a woman, he will always find a reason to meet, and he will not use the excuse that he has a lot of work or was busy. So it's the same with politics. If these voters really wanted to vote, they would, says the president of the National Research Group, Łukasz Pawłowski.

In the local elections, Poles lacked the same motivation as in the fall. Then over 74 percent went to the polls. entitled to vote. – Politicians and political parties mobilize voters and then we have a high turnout. It's not like people are mobilizing themselves. They have to have a reason, they have to have a theme. I have the impression that during the local elections there was no message that these elections would actually change anything in their lives – says Łukasz Pawłowski.

Anyone who did not vote in the first round may vote in the second round. Maybe we will still be able to add ourselves to the voter register in the commune where we live. – It is worth hurrying, because the commune has 5 days to issue such a decision. The sooner we do it, the greater certainty we will have that we will vote in the second round of elections – emphasizes Rafał Miszczuk, the mayor of Szczecin's plenipotentiary for elections.

Overtime will be needed in 748 places, including 60 cities.

Author:Łukasz Wieczorek

Main photo source: Shutterstock



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