Joanna Załuska,
Program Director
phone: |+48| 22 536 02 76

See also

Better electoral law

Voter turnout campaigns run by the Your Vote, Your Choice coalition have demonstrated a need for comprehensive outreach and education among voters regarding both the role and powers of local government at various levels and the rules of the election process. They proved that in order to increase the level of interest in elections the election legislation should be amended to make voting easier and more accessible to all citizens (including people with disabilities, ill and elderly, and those who are abroad). It should also allowed for a more informed choice based on the awareness of candidates’ pleas.

Together with the members of the Your Vote Your Choice pro-turnout coalition, we engage in advocacy efforts aimed at introducing changes in the electoral law to make it easier for citizens to participate in elections and improve the quality of voting: improve the ways of informing citizens about the elections, procedures, candidates and powers of elected bodies and introduce mechanisms that foster direct interactions between election committees and candidates with voters.

The efforts of organizations involved in the voter turnout campaigns led to the amendment of Election Code in 2011. Voters have gained the right to vote by proxy and by correspondence (people with disabilities, Poles abroad), the right for blind people to use Braille overlays, and the possibility of using accessible polling stations. Voting hours have been modified (with polling stations opening from 7:00 a.m. to 9:00 p.m.). In addition, the amended legislation has given the President the right to call for a two-day election.
Further amendments to the electoral legislation were developed during a series of Citizens and Elections seminars for experts and non-government leaders involved in civic participation education aimed to discuss the problems connected with the elections and develop recommendations which will encourage informed voting and high voter participation. 51 experts (sociologists, political scientists, lawyers), representatives of relevant institutions (including National Elections Commission, Ministry of Administration and Digitalization) as well as activists of non-governmental organizations working on civic participation and civic education took part in seminars. The discussions focused on electoral education of youth and adults, the ways to ensure voters a real right to choose representatives, to increase the quality of candidates’ and political parties’ platforms, and to encourage citizens to vote and to run for office. As part of the project a quantitative study [PDF in PL 4,7 MB] of the causes of voter absenteeism was conducted by the Public Opinion Research Centre. The result of the study together with the seminar conclusions and recommendations published in a report [PDF in PL] provided an input for further advocacy work.

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