Almost 20,000 citizens signed up to vote early in the European elections. But the high adhesion caused long queues in Lisbon. In the capital, those who wanted to vote had to wait an hour and a half in the late afternoon.
At the only polling place in Lisbon, in the Town Hall Square, passwords were distributed among voters to ensure that those who were in the queue until 7:00 pm could still vote after the appointed polling hour ( 19 hours), according to the Economic Newspaper on the spot.
Early voting took place on Sunday, May 19, throughout the country. Lisbon was the district with the most requests (8,851), followed by Porto (3,014) and Coimbra (1,114). Despite the high adherence to early voting, according to the data obtained until the closure of the inscriptions on May 16, both Lisbon and Oporto had only one polling place.
In the last elections, the adhesion to the early vote was much smaller: 3,300 people compared to 20,000 registered this year.
Lisbon was not alone in this situation, with long queues to be held in Porto and Coimbra. The Secretary of State for Internal Affairs, Isabel Oneto had to wait in line in the city of Porto, where the wait reached 40 minutes. She acknowledged that adjustments should be made to the current model of early voting after the large membership in the European elections.
"We started with the base of 3,300 voters who in the last elections voted in advance [de acordo com o modelo anterior]. Now we have about 20 thousand. We have been adjusting the tables as voters have signed up precisely to try to respond. Let's look at what is working less well and try to make it better in the next. They are small details that only now we realize and that we will have to correct, "said Isabel Oneto on Sunday, quoted by Lusa.
Of the almost 20,000 registered, about 15,000 went to the polls on Sunday, an influx of 76%. Lisbon was the district where most people voted in advance (5,871), but with an influx of 68%. It follows Porto (2,293 votes) and Coimbra (943).
In the social networks, there was a rain of criticism to the Government for not having anticipated the queues of waiting after the high number of registered voters.
"This is the waiting list for the early voting for the European in the Lisbon City Hall. An initiative to praise, but for which the conditions were not created. 10 polling stations for 9 thousand voters, "wrote João Guilherme on Twitter.
Tiago Cunha Martins compared the queues to the early vote with the queues for a summer festival. "No, it's not the entrance to a summer festival. It's really the queue for early voting in Lisbon. "
In turn, Pedro Alves da Silva pointed out that the city's headquarters was the only place available to vote in the capital. "Hundreds of people queued to exercise the right to vote in the only place to vote early in Lisbon."
– Pedro Alves da Silva (@PAlvesDaSilva) May 19, 2019
– Rodrigo Sousa (@rodrigocnsousa) May 19, 2019
Early voting in the Municipality of Lisbon. At 2:45 a.m. was busy. pic.twitter.com/SLvhRf0nvP
– mixed toast (& quot; Kbosao1 & quot;) May 19, 2019
This is the queue for early voting for the Europeans in the Lisbon City Hall. An initiative to praise, but for which the conditions were not created. 10 polling stations for 9,000 voters pic.twitter.com/C0geJydnqz
– Joao Guilherme (@joao_gmf) May 19, 2019
– Tiago Cunha Martins (@TiagoCMart) May 19, 2019