Judgement on Saturday Voting Should Not Be Based on Complacent Electorate

Young Fine Gael (YFG) has today restated the need for Saturday voting in future Irish elections. Low turnout across the country is not reflective of the day of polling but more a level of general complacency and non-engagement.

'The introduction of Saturday voting for the Children's Referendum was a good and necessary decision. The fact that voting took place on a Saturday, must not be considered a factor in the subsequent poor turnout for what was a uniquely specific referendum - one finding widespread approval from political and civic groups," YFG President, Patrick Molloy said.

'Comments in recent days regarding the part played by Saturday polling day upon the turnout are at best short-sighted and at worst, show a narrow outlook on participation in elections. Saturday voting should be introduced as the regular day for polling to give people who work or study away from home every opportunity to participate.The turnout for the Children's Referendum does not represent a popular rejection of Saturday voting. Future polling on other referenda and other kinds of elections will demonstrate that the specific campaigns, the coverage generated about referenda and elections have a greater impact on turnout than the day of polling.

'Dismissing future votes held on a Saturday would be a knee-jerk reaction and would reflect a general contempt for the needs of younger people who want to use their voice in our democracy," Patrick Molloy, YFG President concluded.

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