Should elections be held on Saturdays?

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BlinkyBill
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Okay so I was having a 'spirited conversation' about this with my friend last night...

In Australia, elections are held on Saturday. There's bake sales, kids jumpy castles and 'democracy sausages'. It's all a good old time. Worth noting, voting in compulsory in Australia.

I realised since moving here that I find it way difficult to vote in elections because they're on Thursdays! I researched and looks like it was tradition because of when market days used to be. I'm also sad about the lack of baked good and sausage sizzles. :rofl:

Whaddya reckon?
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DSilva
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Makes sense.
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Elizabeth II
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Personally prefer them on a weekday. More people are out and about which gives them less of an excuse to 'be at home' and be too lazy to go out to vote. The fact it's on a Thursday means people can work it into their work days and it becomes part of the routine.

That said, I personally wouldn't enjoy fanfare surrounding voting anyway -- it's a very serious and private thing for me, should be quiet and calm to ensure voters are in an environment where they feel they can vote how they wish without feeling pressured by extraneous variables.

Compulsory voting is an interesting point, I'm entirely against it personally. I feel in a democracy that you should have the choice not to participate. I don't approve of non-participation and would prefer people spoilt their ballots but ultimately if someone chooses not to take part then they should have that option.
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Blue_Cow
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(Original post by BlinkyBill)
Okay so I was having a 'spirited conversation' about this with my friend last night...

In Australia, elections are held on Saturday. There's bake sales, kids jumpy castles and 'democracy sausages'. It's all a good old time. Worth noting, voting in compulsory in Australia.

I realised since moving here that I find it way difficult to vote in elections because they're on Thursdays! I researched and looks like it was tradition because of when market days used to be. I'm also sad about the lack of baked good and sausage sizzles. :rofl:

Whaddya reckon?
The tellers standing outside of the polling station piss me off enough already :toofunny: let alone kids in bouncy castles dotted around the place and sausage carts :dontknow:

All I want to do is go into the local church, ask Mrs Smith for my ballot paper, vote and leave heh
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Elizabeth II
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(Original post by Blue_Cow)
All I want to do is go into the local church, ask Mrs Smith for my ballot paper, vote and leave heh
Don't forget feeling smug about getting a parking space. Is it just me that does that? :hmmm:
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Blue_Cow
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(Original post by Paracosm)
Don't forget feeling smug about getting a parking space. Is it just me that does that? :hmmm:
I walk to my local polling station :sly:

I can't imagine Reverend Dr John Smith MA (oxon) DThM (Dunelm) being too happy when he finds out he can't park his Mercedes AMG C-63 Sedan as my wee car is parked there :afraid:
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Duncan2012
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If you can't find some time between 7am-10pm to go to a polling station on the day, or to fill in a postal vote in advance, then you're just lazy.

I'm all for compulsory voting (even if you just want to spoil the paper).
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L'étranger123
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Elections should only be held on weekdays from 11pm to 7am
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Blue_Cow
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(Original post by L'étranger123)
Elections should only be held on weekdays from 11pm to 7am
As someone who had a nocturnal sleep cycle on and off for the best part of 2 months, I agree.
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SHallowvale
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We should go a step further and make election day (for the general election) a national holiday.

(to be honest I just want an extra day off)
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nulli tertius
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(Original post by BlinkyBill)
Okay so I was having a 'spirited conversation' about this with my friend last night...

In Australia, elections are held on Saturday. There's bake sales, kids jumpy castles and 'democracy sausages'. It's all a good old time. Worth noting, voting in compulsory in Australia.

I realised since moving here that I find it way difficult to vote in elections because they're on Thursdays! I researched and looks like it was tradition because of when market days used to be. I'm also sad about the lack of baked good and sausage sizzles. :rofl:

Whaddya reckon?
The 1918 British general election, “the coupon election” was held on a Saturday.
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Joinedup
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(Original post by BlinkyBill)
--snip--
In Australia, elections are held on Saturday. There's bake sales, kids jumpy castles and 'democracy sausages'. It's all a good old time. Worth noting, voting in compulsory in Australia.
--snip--
That's just going to discriminate vegetarians.

anyway your crazy Australian ideas won't work here - Homebase was taken over by an Australian company last year which promised sausage sizzles for British DIY enthusiasts... and now the Homebases round here are all having closing down sales, not a single sausage was sizzled to my knowledge.
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Sammylou40
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(Original post by Joinedup)
That's just going to discriminate vegetarians.

anyway your crazy Australian ideas won't work here - Homebase was taken over by an Australian company last year which promised sausage sizzles for British DIY enthusiasts... and now the Homebases round here are all having closing down sales, not a single sausage was sizzled to my knowledge.
Our Homebase became b and m eons ago. Much cheaper btw. And never a sausage in sight!
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BlinkyBill
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(Original post by Paracosm)
Personally prefer them on a weekday. More people are out and about which gives them less of an excuse to 'be at home' and be too lazy to go out to vote. The fact it's on a Thursday means people can work it into their work days and it becomes part of the routine.

That said, I personally wouldn't enjoy fanfare surrounding voting anyway -- it's a very serious and private thing for me, should be quiet and calm to ensure voters are in an environment where they feel they can vote how they wish without feeling pressured by extraneous variables.

Compulsory voting is an interesting point, I'm entirely against it personally. I feel in a democracy that you should have the choice not to participate. I don't approve of non-participation and would prefer people spoilt their ballots but ultimately if someone chooses not to take part then they should have that option.
(Original post by Blue_Cow)
The tellers standing outside of the polling station piss me off enough already :toofunny: let alone kids in bouncy castles dotted around the place and sausage carts :dontknow:

All I want to do is go into the local church, ask Mrs Smith for my ballot paper, vote and leave heh
Wooahhh really? I've never thought of it that way! I mean, when you go into the actual polling station in Aus, it's boring as, it's just outside that's exciting. I agree, I take voting as a serious thing, but maybe it's partially because it's compulsory people kind of make a morning of it?

(Original post by SHallowvale)
We should go a step further and make election day (for the general election) a national holiday.

(to be honest I just want an extra day off)
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LeapingLucy
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At least we have pretty long polling station opening hours in the UK - 7am to 10pm.

In some parts of the US they close by 6 or 7pm.
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Joinedup
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(Original post by LeapingLucy)
At least we have pretty long polling station opening hours in the UK - 7am to 10pm.

In some parts of the US they close by 6 or 7pm.
I think in aus it's 8am-6pm

Which tbh is going to be a pain for the large number of people who work on the weekends e.g. in retail jobs
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BlinkyBill
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(Original post by Joinedup)
I think in aus it's 8am-6pm

Which tbh is going to be a pain for the large number of people who work on the weekends e.g. in retail jobs
You are correct - https://www.aec.gov.au/Voting/polling.htm

I'd actually forgotten this and I remember how annoying it was when I worked weekends. I guess maybe the idea with the weekend is it covers a majority of people - feels like it wouldn't hurt to keep them open later though...

Maybe we could have a democracy disco!
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ThomH97
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The problem with weekends is if you want to go somewhere. That's the whole thing written off if you have to stay to vote locally.

There's plenty of time during the day to vote even if you are working, and though I don't see much difference between Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday, they shouldn't be Monday or Friday, and certainly not Saturday or Sunday.
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L i b
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The Government held a consultation on this in 2010, a summary of it is here: https://assets.publishing.service.go...28797/7835.pdf

I do like the sound of democracy sausages though.
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Joinedup
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(Original post by L i b)
The Government held a consultation on this in 2010, a summary of it is here: https://assets.publishing.service.go...28797/7835.pdf

I do like the sound of democracy sausages though.
The comments in favour of weekend voting seem to have been made by people who haven't bothered to engage in the current system... I always found it highly convenient to vote on a work day during the british voting hours of 7am-10pm at a polling stations located near to my home.

you get 3 great opportunities
1. set off for work slightly early and vote on the way in
2. vote on the way back from work and get home slightly late
3. vote after eating evening meal and before going to bed

and TBH having also worked in polling stations, this corresponds to what most people actually seem to do.

probably the electoral comission would get more bang for it's buck by running slightly patronising 1970s style public information films on TV and adverts on radio explaining how simple voting currently is... perhaps preloading polling station locations onto google maps would help.

However the more you try and 'reach out' to people the more criticism you're likely to get for not reaching out to everyone exactly equally
The problem with ad campaigns is that someone is always going to be able to complain that they were left out/not targetted enough.
drive time radio adverts reminding people that they can vote on the way home from work discriminate against people who don't have jobs, or cars or use public transport to commute. 70's style PIFs during and after the news discriminate against people who don't watch the news

shady companies like Google are going to bombard people who look up polling station addresses with political adverts.
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