Great stuff Simon. It's actually a great point the fact that the elections day - in many countries - is during the week. It really doesn't help people to get to the polling stations! Being a brazilian I always found that quite odd here in the UK and an unnecessary complicating factor for voters.
I guess regardless of being a national holiday or simply scheduling elections on a Sunday - when most businesses are closed anyway - it naturally creates this "democracy day" atmosphere that you mentioned.
Even in a country where a large part of the population rarely discusses politics like Brazil, the candidates, parties and government proposals become the main topic of the day. Great inspiration!
Indeed Arjan, this inspiration doesn't respond to wider issues of accessibility and I didn't really intend to address all issues with regards to making elections more accessible. I suppose that providing many options for voting only helps catering for the many needs of people, which should hopefully contribute to accessibility and this challenge. I just thought of mentioning the "post" and "proxy" options here as I haven't seen those posted elsewhere on the site yet.
To the independency point, I guess using the post could be a nice way to help those who can't get to the polling stations but otherwise have a post box within reach as we have here in the UK.
Hey Ashley - funny, you made me think of the underground here in London and the shops at Piccadilly Circus.
On the tube, we sometimes hear an announcement (in the most British fashion!) repeatedly saying "please note that flash photography is not allowed on the underground" specifically directed to a group of tourists. The tourists themselves couldn't be more oblivious to the message, taking as many photographs as they can - simply because they can't understand a word of the very polite Englishman...
The shops in Piccadilly are much more efficient at that, announcing in-store deals in Italian and Spanish, the largest populations of tourists in London.
It's indeed about being personal, as is also about the right message in the right situation.