First-time Voters in Liptovske Klacany “Educated” with Shot of Brandy

Liptovske Klacany Mayor Jan Holly having a post-vote toast with first voter Denisa Kubikova during the first round of presidential election in Slovakia. (Photo by TASR)

Liptovske Klacany, March 16 (TASR) – For years first-time voters in the village of Liptovske Klacany (Zilina region), pop. 400, have been “educated” in elections by receiving a shot of home-made brandy, the local mayor Jan Holly told TASR during the presidential elections held across Slovakia on Saturday.

According to Holly, the local tradition is by no means aimed at encouraging the young to booze, quite the contrary, it should educate them in responsibility. He said that the somewhat unusual method has partly contributed to above-average election turnouts in the village.

“This custom has been in place during elections in Liptovske Klacany since long ago. We want to make clear to the young this way that by reaching the age of majority, they don’t only get certain opportunities and rights, but also responsibilities. These rights include the voting right and the right to consume alcohol. We see it as our task to teach them that they should use their opportunities for the benefit of society,” said the mayor.

The drinking ceremony with the mayor takes place at the municipality office after each first-time voter casts his or her ballot at a polling station. In municipal elections, a specially designated person takes the mayor’s place as the toasting partner for first-time voters.