WHO TO VOTE
HOW TO VOTE
Since Slovakia is a democratic country, people get to the most critical positions in the state through citizens elections. It is a way in which you can influence what is happening in our country under certain conditions and to a certain extent. However, to be able to vote, you must first understand several concepts related to politics and the running of the country. You can find the most important terms and their explanations on the subpage with terms related to politics.
ELECTIONS IN SLOVAKIA
THE FOLLOWING ELECTIONS ARE HELD IN SLOVAKIA:
Election of the President of the Slovak Republic
Elections to the National Council of the Slovak Republic – the parliament, has different names depending on the specific state. In our country, it is the National Council. In other countries, the term parliament or congress is also used. The video How do parliamentary elections work will explain the whole process of parliamentary elections in a simple way.
Elections to bodies of self-governing regions and municipalities – since the state is a large unit, it is divided into smaller units that are in charge of specific geopolitical sections. These are self-governing regions and municipalities. They should be the direct voice of citizens, protect and help them. It is logical that they better understand the needs of the residents in the given territorial unit. That is why it is essential to actively participate in these elections and influence who will represent you within your self-governing region.
Referendum – you can read more about this topic on the subpage about active citizenship.
Elections to the European Parliament – you can learn more about the European Union on the subpage dedicated to the EU.
Elections are an important way in which you can influence the functioning of the state at several levels. As a citizen of a democratic country, you should have the opportunity to react as directly as possible to the problems that have arisen and make decisions – but this is practically impossible nowadays. That is why elections exist as a tool of indirect democracy.
In elections, you trust politicians, whom you entrust to make decisions for you in this way. A separate chapter comprises elections to the bodies of self-governing regions and municipalities because their results will significantly impact your daily functioning. It is precisely the regions and municipalities that solve, for example, the pothole on the road in front of your house and many other common problems.
It is important to say that even the decision not to participate in the elections actively, i.e. not to vote, will affect the elections. And by doing so, you will support those you disagree with the most. You can read a detailed explanation in the article Myths and facts about allocating mandates in parliamentary elections.
Don’t forget to listen to our podcasts, which will explain the necessity of elections and the electoral system in the Slovak Republic.
Who to vote for
The plurality of political subjects is part of the democratic system, among which you can decide during elections. Often the selection is so wide that it is difficult to navigate. The Ministry of the Interior publishes the list of candidates for all elections. But the ministry does not describe the candidates, and it only names them.
If you want to find out about specific political bodies or candidates, you must find the information. Don’t forget to explore multiple sources! It is in the interest of political entities to reach people’s awareness, so they will publicly present their goals, which they want to fulfil after being elected. They mainly offer them on their websites or social networks. However, don’t just let nice-sounding passwords decide. Try to find out more about a specific candidate and look at his past. Is he active or successful in the area he wants to improve?
Shortly before elections, candidates and political parties are the main topics of the media. They can help you get an overview and an unbiased view, but they can also mislead in some cases. Therefore, do not forget to study several sources and form your own opinion.
Before the elections, several initiatives usually try to provide impartial information about the candidates and thus help you make a decision. Try to find such sites or profiles! The video How to make decisions during elections can also help you.
How to vote
You have the right to vote in Slovakia if you are a citizen of the Slovak Republic and have reached your 18th birthday on the day of the election at the latest. However, you cannot vote if your freedom has been restricted by law for some reason (for example, if you are in custody) or for public health protection (if, for example, you are in quarantine).
Each election takes place on a predetermined day. Voting is usually done in an office building, school or other public space. As a voter, you are subject to the electoral district determined by your permanent residence. This means you have to vote where you are registered on the voter list. In another electoral district, you can only vote based on a voting card, which you must apply for well in advance. However, this does not apply in the case of municipal elections.
It is essential not to forget your identity card, which you can use to prove yourself at the polling station. You will then receive a ballot and mark as many boxes as the rules of the particular election allow. The electoral commission will explain what exactly you have to do.
If you are outside the territory of Slovakia at the time of the elections, you can also request to vote by mail. In this case, you will receive an envelope with ballot papers, fill them in according to the instructions and send them back to the address of the municipal office in your residence.
If you want to learn more about this topic, you can listen to the podcast Verejne o politike, for example. There are also several discussion shows on political issues, for instance, Braňo Závodský Naživo or Rozhovory ZKH.
Don’t forget to listen to our podcast with pedagogue, sociologist and political scientist Iveta Radičová, who will explain the necessity of elections and the electoral system in Slovakia.
We recommend spending a few minutes on the AdultLife podcast with political scientist Michal Vašečka. He will tell you why everyone should get involved in social events, for example, by participating in municipal elections.
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