Government Endorses Bill Introducing Single-Day Elections
The Czech Republic is the last country in the European Union with two-day elections. Photo credit: Freepik.
Prague, Feb 2 (CTK) – The Czech government yesterday supported a proposal to change elections in the Czech Republic to last only one day instead of the current two, according to CTK.
The Interior Ministry noted that the Czech Republic is the last country in the European Union with two-day elections.
At present, Czech polling stations are open from 2pm to 10pm on Friday and from 8am to 2pm on Saturday. Under the new proposal, from 2026 polling stations would be open only on Friday, from 7pm to 10pm.
In the former Czechoslovakia, general elections were originally held on one day, on Sunday, but two-day elections were introduced in 1971. The two-day system was copied by the Czech Republic and Slovakia after the country was divided. Slovakia introduced one-day general elections in 2006. Other Slovak elections had already been shortened to one day prior to this.
The Interior Ministry also wants to set a fixed date for regional, local, and Senate elections, to be held on the Friday following the first Monday in October.
The rules for the creation of election constituencies could also change, as the ministry considers them inflexible. Some constituencies have more than 1,000 voters, while others have only a few dozen. If it were possible to merge constituencies, elections would become easier for some municipalities and costs would be cut, the ministry argues. There are currently 14,800 constituencies in the country.
The amendment also proposes a new information system for election administration, including a list of voters and election commissions in the constituencies, and a registry of lists of candidates which could be submitted via an electronic form. This information system is to cost CZK 200 million, with running costs of CZK 20 million per year.
Voters may also be allowed to apply for a voting card online at any municipal office. At present, they can apply only at the municipal office in the place of their permanent residence.
The bill will now be discussed by the two houses of parliament, first by the Chamber of Deputies and then the Senate.