• Voting information in English

    by  • 02/10/2012 • Blogi, Uncategorized

    How to know if you are entitled to vote?

    You have the right to vote in municipal elections if you are a citizen of Finland, another European Union Member State, Iceland or Norway, and you meet the following two conditions:

    • you are 18 years of age at the latest on the election day (28 October 2012)
    • you are assigned a municipality of residence in Finland no later than on 7 September 2012.

    If you are a citizen of some other country, you may vote in the municipal elections if

    • you are 18 years of age at the latest on the election day (28 October 2012)
    • you have had a municipality of residence in Finland for a continuous period of at least two years before 7 September 2012.

    In most cases, your municipality of residence is the municipality in which you live. If you are unsure, you can contact the Local Register Office to check your municipality of residence.

    You may only vote for a candidate standing for election in your own municipality of residence in a municipal election.

    A notice of your right to vote will be posted to you. 

    Voting dates

    You can either vote on the election day, which is Sunday 28 October 2012, or before this date in advance voting. You may only cast your vote once.

    Advance voting:

    Advance voting will start on Wednesday 17 October 2012. Advance voting will end abroad on Saturday 20 October 2012 and in Finland on Tuesday 23 October 2012. At certain polling stations for advance voting, the voting time is shorter than this.

    You may vote in advance at any polling station in Finland or abroad. Polling stations for advance voting include in Finland, advance polling stations selected by each municipality, for example

    • municipal offices or post offices
    • a number of Finnish missions abroad
    • institutions including hospitals, operating units of social care services and prisons. Only persons who are patients or inmates of the institutions may vote at these polling stations.
    • Finnish ships that are abroad during the advance voting period. Only the crews may cast their votes onboard. This right does not extend to the passengers.

    Voting on the election day:

    On the election day, voting takes place on Sunday 28 October from 9 a.m. till 8 p.m. On the election day, you may only vote in the municipality and at the polling station that is shown on the information card sent to you.

    Voting at home:

    If your ability to move or function is restricted so much that you cannot reach the polling station without unreasonable difficulty, you may vote at home during the advance voting period. If you wish to vote at home, you need to register for this at the latest on Tuesday 16 October 2012 by 4 p.m.

    The registrations are taken by the central election committee (In Tampere, Tampereen Keskusvaalilautakunta) of your municipality of residence. Under certain conditions, a family caregiver living in the same household with a disabled person may vote at the same time with him/her.

    How to vote

    You have to go to the polling station to cast your vote. You may only vote for one candidate whose name is included on the combined list of candidates in your home municipality.

    1. Prove your identity to the election official by showing your passport, identity card, driving licence or other similar document. The election official will give you a ballot.
    2. Go into the voting booth. Only one person at a time may enter the voting booth.
    3. Write the number of the candidate you wish to vote for on the ballot. (For example, my voting number is 615.) You may only vote for one candidate. Write the candidate’s number in the circle shown on the inside of the ballot. Do not write anything else on the ballot. Fold the ballot so that the number you wrote stays on the inside of the fold and cannot be seen from the outside.
    4. Take the folded ballot to the election official. He or she will stamp the ballot.
    5. If you are voting on the election day, drop the stamped ballot into the ballot box.
    6. If you are casting your vote in advance voting, the election official will give you an election envelope in which you will seal the stamped ballot.

    If your ability to write the candidate number on the ballot is substantially impaired, you may use a polling assistant selected by you or an election official to help you. The assistant may not be a person who is standing for election. The assistant has the duty to safeguard the secrecy of the ballot by keeping confidential any information he or she may have received in connection with the voting.

    This information has been collected from website of the Ministry of Justice in Finland. For additional information or information in different languages, visit www.vaalit.fi.