Saturday 10/23/21
CORONAVIRUS

Finland prepares to ensure safety in municipal elections

Instructions on safe voting will be sent to all eligible voters together with the notice of right to vote (polling card) in March. 
Helsinki-Parliament-eduskunta-square by Ali Abaday
Helsinki Parliament square. Photo: Ali Abaday

Municipal elections will be held in Finland on Sunday 18 April 2021. The advance voting period is in Finland from 7 to 13 April and abroad from 7 to 10 April.

The Ministry of Justice is preparing for the municipal elections in cooperation with the Finnish Institute for Health and Welfare (THL). The Ministry of Justice and THL monitor the development of the Covid-19 epidemic and, if they consider it necessary, they will issue more specific instructions on the election arrangements.

Instructions on safe voting will be sent to all eligible voters together with the notice of right to vote (polling card) in March. 
 
According to the Ministry of Justice, the objective is to "make sure that everyone can vote safely regardless of the epidemiological situation."

"Finland is well prepared to organise municipal elections during the Covid-19 epidemic," the Ministry stressed.

Advance polling stations

Municipalities had to enter information about their general advance polling stations in the election information system by 29 January. The advance polling stations abroad were determined by government decree issued on 21 January. 

There are 932 advance polling stations in Finland and 108 abroad. The total number of election day polling stations is 1,854.

Eligible voters residing or staying abroad during the elections may vote by post from abroad. It is also possible to vote in advance at a Finnish diplomatic or consular mission. 

Eligible voters wishing to vote by post must order the postal voting documents themselves. The service for ordering the documents has been open since 18 January. 

Postal voting will be possible once the candidate numbers have been confirmed, in other words from 18 March onwards.

More detailed instructions on postal voting are available HERE

The voter must send the ballot and the other necessary documents so that they arrive at the right central municipal election board by 19:00 on Friday 16 April 2021. 

Candidate applications 

In municipal elections, a person can stand as a candidate in their municipality of residence. Another prerequisite is that the candidate must be entitled to vote in the municipal elections in some municipality.

Political parties and constituency associations can nominate candidates. Political parties nominate their candidates in accordance with their rules and regulations. A constituency association may be established by ten, five or three persons entitled to vote in the same municipality, depending on the population of the municipality. 

Candidate applications must be submitted to the central municipal election board by 16:00 on Tuesday 9 March. Notifications of electoral alliances and joint lists must be submitted together with the candidate applications.

The central municipal election boards will confirm the nomination of candidates in each municipality on 18 March 2021 and draw up a list of candidates and their candidate numbers.

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