You have to go up and down a steep hill to vote.
What broke this situation was the "moving" polling station.
A non-step bus is used to make it barrier-free.
If you don't go up the hill ...
Nakano City, Nagano Prefecture. It is surrounded by mountains.
In mountainous areas, the distance to polling places can be difficult and it can be difficult to move, so since 2014 we have set up "mobile early voting stations" to set up polling places sequentially at local meeting places.
They moved from place to place every hour to get people to vote at the nearest meetinghouse.
However, the meeting place was also located on a hill or had to go up stairs, which often became a burden for those who went to vote.
On the other hand, the election commission also had to prepare for voting every time they moved from one meeting place to another, which was a heavy burden.
Buses to polling stations
That's where it was introduced...
"Moving" polling place by non-step bus.
It has been in operation since the House of Councillors election in July 2022.
On the bus, there are ballot filling tables and ballot boxes where early voting is provided.
The bus stops near the meeting place that used to be a polling place.
In the past, you had to go up a hill, but with buses, you can choose a flatter place to stop, making it easier for voters to get around.
In addition, since it is a non-step bus with a slope, there are no steps and you can enter with a wheelchair.
What's more, you can vote without taking off your shoes.
In addition to meeting places, buses can also be parked in the parking lots of commercial facilities to vote while shopping.
The number of people who used this bus "mobile early voting station" reached 2022 in the House of Councillors election in July 7 and 141 in the Nagano gubernatorial election in August, even in the scorching heat.
Early voting on buses is also supposed to take place in the unified local elections, which will be voted on in April.
A person in charge of the Nakano City Election Committee said, "We introduced it to improve the voting environment for voters and increase the voter turnout, and we have heard from people who have actually used it that it has become very convenient, so we would like to continue it in the future."