- Hans Weber
- December 4, 2023
Hundreds of Slovaks in Czech Republic Take Special Trains to Vote in Parliamentary Elections
Hundreds of Slovaks, predominantly students, embarked on special free trains from Prague and Brno to Slovakia to participate in the parliamentary elections on Saturday. These “election trains” were financed by four non-profit organizations and are aimed at increasing voter turnout in Slovakia.
The organizers of the initiative expect almost all seats in both trains to be occupied. More than 1,000 people registered through the website volebnyvlak.sk, with about 60% of them being students.
The primary goal of the initiative is to boost voter turnout and ensure that the parliament resulting from the elections represents the attitudes of all Slovaks as much as possible, according to Marek Mach, one of the initiators of the campaign.
Slovakia does not allow its citizens to vote in parliamentary elections at embassies abroad, and those interested in voting by post from abroad had to register by early August. The special election trains provided an opportunity for Slovaks living in the Czech Republic to cast their ballots conveniently.
In the past, many Slovaks residing in the Czech Republic have traveled back to Slovakia on regular trains on election days to vote. They often got off in the village of Kuty in western Slovakia, where international trains on the main railway corridor between Prague and Bratislava stop, allowing them to vote at the polling station in Kuty using their voter ID cards.
These special trains are seen as an innovative way to encourage civic engagement and ensure that citizens have access to the democratic process, even when living abroad.
The initiative reflects the commitment of Slovaks living in the Czech Republic to participate in the political life of their home country and have their voices heard in the parliamentary elections. Students and citizens expressed their dedication to voting, considering it a civic duty and an important way to shape the future of Slovakia.
Article by Prague Forum