Almost 1 million people cast their ballot in the February 7 referendum which, as its initiators say, sought the protection of family. The turnout, however, failed to surpass the required 50-percent quorum as only 21.41 percent of eligible voters went to the polling stations. It was the third lowest of the eight referendums already held in Slovakia and surprised analysts as pre-referendum polls suggested that about 35 percent would attend the voting. Despite the failed vote, both the referendum’s organisers and representatives of the LGBTI community consider the results a success and claim they want to continue with the discussion it has opened. “For me, as a sociologist, the turnout is really surprisingly low,” Martin Slosiarik of the Focus polling agency told the public-service Slovak Radio (SRo), adding that a pre-referendum poll Focus conducted for the Sme daily suggested the most pessimistic variant for turnout at about 30 percent. Of more than 4.4 million eligible voters, only 944,674 people came to cast their ballot. The highest turnout was in Prešov Region (32.31 percent), while the lowest was in Banská Bystrica Region (15.84 percent).
As for the districts, the highest turnout was in Námestovo (51.82 percent) which was the only one where it surpassed 50 percent. The least voters attended the referendum in Dunajská Streda (7.64 percent), the results suggest.
One of the reasons for this might be the overall perception of the campaign led by the Alliance for Family (AZR), the organiser of the referendum. Even conservative voters seemed not to believe that the topics discussed before the referendum were something they could identify with and which would motivate them to attend the referendum, Slosiarik said.
“There is a question whether the support of the church or the pastoral letter read in churches on Sunday was the way to boost mobilisation and whether some people did not stay at home because of the way in which the church intervened into this political topic,” Slosiarik told SRo.
Full Article: Spectator.sme.sk | The Slovak Spectator.