Last Sunday we went trail running in the mountain and on the way back we wanted to go to the polling station to vote (in order to exercise our right to vote). I was impressed when I saw a flow of people out of the church after mass and going into the polling station (annexed to the church building) to vote and I had a random thought that I shared on Facebook – does voting on Sunday incentivise more conservative participation? What about if the church is next to the polling station?
First reactions on Facebook were dramatic: – “Are you under the influence of drugs?” – “You are losing your mind, seriously” – or – “Sorry but I think this debate is pointless”. After those comments the discussion got more interesting (and intelligent). Someone said: “in the past, Spanish elections were held on a weekday and workers had 4 hours to exercise the right to vote. You can imagine the problem…” So, as far as I understood, to move elections to Sunday promotes two (potential) benefits: (i) reduce labour costs; and (ii) promote greater participation because most people don’t work on Sunday.
But that didn’t answer my questions, again – does voting on Sunday incentivise more conservative participation? And a new questions raised, is there a better alternative to voting on a Sunday? So, I researched a little and I discovered that some countries create a public holiday for a weekday election day, thus satisfying both demands. In the UK, for example, Election Day is on Thursday or in the US Election Day is on Tuesday.
In the case of Spain, more research is needed and obviously a political debate on the issue is more than pertinent.
A curios observation – my polling station:
(Andalusian Parliamentary Election – 2015)
ADDRESS: PARROQUIA [Parish Church] SAN FRANCISCO CMNO RONDA (DE) NUM: 65
PP – 379 electoral votes
CIUDADANOS – 106 electoral votes
PSOE A 66 – electoral votes
PODEMOS – 35 electoral votes
IULV CA – 13 electoral votes
The general participation (in the whole Region) was 63.94%. PSOE won the elections. But the first two political parties of my polling are conservatives; but, that’s not significant, is it?