To vote or not to vote — do you have the time?

Election season is most definitely upon us as we are bombarded on a daily basis with flyers, party political broadcasts, TV debates and the ups and downs of Nigel Farage and the UK Independence Party (UKIP).

The UK local elections and the European Parliament elections take place on Thursday 22 May 2014. The UK general election must take place by no later than Thursday 7 May 2015. With the economy the way that it is, widespread concerns regarding job security, the general increased cost of living, house prices, etc, ensuring that your vote counts in such elections may well be of much more importance to the average working person than previously.

In the UK, elections are held on working weekdays and no legislation exists to allow employees to take time off work to vote. UK workers spend an average of six and a half hours working each day. Add a lunch hour and a couple of hours’ travel time, and between nine and 10 hours of a person’s day are committed to their employer. Polling stations across the country will be open for 15 hours, from 7am until 10pm. Effectively, this means the UK’s entire working population must be squeezed through polling station doors within a five-hour window. With the added pressures of day-to-day life getting in the way, attending the polling station may prove difficult for many…

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