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Thread: Is Saturday voting a good or bad idea?

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    Default Is Saturday voting a good or bad idea?

    Some groups have been calling for weekend voting for years. The Children referendum was held on a Saturday and got a woeful turnout.

    So what is your feeling on Saturday voting?

    Is it still a good idea, or bad idea, or what? (This isn't a thread about the children referendum itself, just on the issue of Saturday voting, which is why it is in the elections forum.)

    Personally I have been skeptical about the idea of Saturday voting. The feedback I got from family and friends about it this time was uniformly negative.

    1. People found it inconvenient. Many people have existing plans for Saturdays - from going to sports to attending weddings (many people choose to have weddings at the weekend if they can). They found it a nuisance having to fit in a trip to the polling station given their normal schedule for Saturdays. Weekdays they found OK because for many they could pop into the polling station going to or coming from work. But for quite a few it involved adding in an additional journey on a busy day.

    2. Childcare was a problem. While weekday voting closes down some schools not all schools are closed, so many parents are unaffected and even those that are if they have kids at different types of school may only have to cope with having one child home. On the weekend they have all their kids to look after as all the schools are closed.

    3. Human beings are creatures of habit and are used to Thursday or Friday voting - which as I said they can fit in while going to or coming from work. Some people intended to vote later in the day but entirely forgot because Saturday voting was so unusual. (One guy on a website described his and his wife's day - from involvement in sports to arranging events for kids to sitting down watching Saturday night TV. It entirely slipped his and his wife's mind. They were sitting in front of the TV when they suddenly remembered but by then the polling station was closed. Those of us interested in politics may always remember these things. But many people don't follow the news rigidly and don't watch the news bulletin, so it simply slipped their mind.

    My gut feeling is that Saturday voting is not worth using again. People are better able to accommodate voting on a work day. Weekends, with schools closed and other things happening are just now suited for voting.

    What say you?
    "In [Ireland] a wife is regarded as a chattel, just as a thoroughbred mare or cow." Mr Justice Butler in the Irish courts. 'Traditional Marriage' in the 1970s.

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    Politics.ie Member Hewson's Avatar
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    Personally, I think Friday is the optimum voting day. People are mentally buoyed up and looking forward to a free weekend. The idea of taking time to vote doesn't seem such a drag. That includes students coming home from college.
    Abortion is an act of violence. Violence demeans humanity, particularly violence against women and children.

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    Should have been on a Sunday if its going to be the weekend- thats what the rest of Europe do.

    saturday is a "doing" day for many people - also the polls should have opened at 7am - not 9 - a lot of people still work on Saturdays - we're not all civil servants working 9-5 monday to friday

    Just shows how out of touch many people are who organise these things

    Also - can we not get some kind of postal / absentee ballot going? - or hold it over 2 weeks - surely it should be possible to cast your ballot in the local garda station or county council offices..............

    Its hard to read much into this.........the vast majority of the country weren't interested in this referendum........the political parties did nothing outside tokenism and the people of this country took their queue from the political parties total disinterest - if people really wanted to vote - they would have made it a priority to do so........witness the queues in the US for the election just gone

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    Having any vote during the week will delight teachers and children.

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    MrFunkyBoogaloo
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    Politics.ie Member Hewson's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Edo View Post
    Should have been on a Sunday if its going to be the weekend- thats what the rest of Europe do.

    saturday is a "doing" day for many people - also the polls should have opened at 7am - not 9 - a lot of people still work on Saturdays - we're not all civil servants working 9-5 monday to friday

    Just shows how out of touch many people are who organise these things

    Also - can we not get some kind of postal / absentee ballot going? - or hold it over 2 weeks - surely it should be possible to cast your ballot in the local garda station or county council offices..............

    Its hard to read much into this.........the vast majority of the country weren't interested in this referendum........the political parties did nothing outside tokenism and the people of this country took their queue from the political parties total disinterest - if people really wanted to vote - they would have made it a priority to do so........witness the queues in the US for the election just gone
    Lots of valid points there. I hope the decision makers read your post.
    Abortion is an act of violence. Violence demeans humanity, particularly violence against women and children.

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    Turnout today settles the argument. Next.

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    Politics.ie Member commonman's Avatar
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    I had to drive 50km yesterday to vote, some people just dont care, would be nice to see every body come out and vote, maybe if it was taken of them if they missed 3 elections in a row.

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    If it was a vote on abolishing childrens allowances, there would be 80% plus outturn, even if it was on CHRISTMAS DAY. THere is the message /simple as//////

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    Politics.ie Member wombat's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Hewson View Post
    Personally, I think Friday is the optimum voting day. .
    I would have no problem with Friday, Sat, or Sunday. I work in construction so I am never based in Dublin. I always vote and it involves coming home on a Thursday night to vote. I'm too lazy to go back to work on a Friday so it means that I lose a few hours on Thursday + all day Friday. Most of the people I work with don't bother voting, for obvious reasons. I have argued this point with politicians for years but the attitude has always been tough, next question.

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