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26-year-old in Territorial Electoral Commission pleads commitment to state building

26-year-old in Territorial Electoral Commission pleads commitment to state building

Image source: © canva
Natalia Witulska,
08.04.2024 15:15

The local elections were held on Sunday, 7 April, but it was disappointing to see that the younger generation didn't turn up in large numbers. The turnout in the 18-29 age group was exceptionally low. However, there were some who not only cast their vote but also actively participated in the electoral committees.

Poland's citizens recently elected their city mayors, heads of municipalities, and councillors. However, the exit poll results indicated that voter turnout was only 51.5%, which means many people chose not to do their duty and participate in the creation of what is commonly referred to as "small homelands."

Unfortunately, the younger generation didn't show much interest in the local elections, as only 38.6% of the people between 18 and 29 voted. This gives the older generation more reason to believe that young people are not interested in their homeland. Nonetheless, some Gen Z representatives are still getting involved in political life, and a few even choose to work on committees.

Election day work is not easy

Some people believe that working for the electoral commission is effortless, as it mainly involves distributing ballots to voters. However, there is more to the job than just that. It may involve admonishing someone for breaking the silence or explaining how to cast a valid vote. Committee work is not limited to sitting behind a desk for 12 hours. What exactly does the job entail, and why do people choose to participate?

"I applied to be on an electoral committee because I have always been curious about the process. I believe that actively participating in events like this shows a commitment to building a strong and functioning society. However, it is crucial to remember that committee work entails much more than just verifying IDs and distributing ballots. In fact, committee members begin their work on Saturday by counting the latter and preparing the room," says Weronika, a 26-year-old member of an electoral committee.

"On the election Sunday, the commission works from 6:00 am until the ballot count, which happens long after the polling station closes. Although there are shifts, the chairman or deputy must be at the polling station throughout the day. During the count, all committee members must also be present. We finished our work at around 2:30 am, but I don't know what time the chairman went home because he still had to go to the office with all the documents," Weronika continued.

The woman acknowledged having a great time but emphasised that the exhaustion was similar to several consecutive nights of partying. Moreover, she mentioned that one must be capable of managing stress. All votes must be meticulously tallied and verified, as these documents determine the election's outcome.

Election committee members' salary: How much do they earn?

It is important to note that the earnings from participating in an election commission are public. The participants receive PLN 700, the deputy chairman receives PLN 800, and the chairman gets PLN 900. In case a second round is needed, the payment is halved. Therefore, the total earnings for participating in the commission are PLN 1050, PLN 1200, or PLN 1350 accordingly. Moreover, committee members are entitled to two days off with full pay.

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