A good day for democracy

Voters turn out in big numbers for local elections

So maybe those ugly campaign signs on every light pole and annoying flyers clogging up mailboxes work after all. Nearly 72 percent of the 4.4 million Danish residents eligible to vote went to the polls yesterday. That is 6.1 percent more than voted in 2009 and the highest turnout since 2001 and the second highest since 1981, when 73.2 percent of voters took part in council elections.

Pundits are saying that the signs, the flyers and the candidates themselves hitting the streets of the nation’s 98 councils handing out roses, chocolate and other enticements helped remind voters that there was indeed an election going on.

“The turnout is a great victory, and the work the candidates put in got more people out to vote,” said DR political analyst Jens Ringberg.

In the 2009 local elections, only 54 percent voted in Copenhagen. This year, 61.3 percent of voters in the capital exercised their rights.

A higher than average turnout had been expected, but analysts expressed surprise as the tallies began to come in last night showing that some councils were topping 75 percent participation.