According to the Finnish Ministry of Justice, county elections will be held in Finland on Sunday 23 January 2022.
The new wellbeing services counties will constitute the electoral districts for the county elections.
In these elections, the members and deputy members of county councils will be elected in each wellbeing services county.
No county elections will be conducted in Helsinki.
The advance voting period will be in Finland from 12 to 18 January and abroad from 12 to 15 January 2022.
What are the county elections all about?
The division into wellbeing services counties is mainly based on the current division into regions with the exception of Uusimaa, which is divided into four wellbeing services counties.
The wellbeing services counties are autonomous, and the highest decision-making power in a county will be exercised by a county council.
The county council will decide on the organisation of healthcare, social welfare and rescue services in each wellbeing services county as of 2023.
The members and deputy members of the county councils will be elected in the county elections to be held in January. Voters will vote for the candidates standing for election in their own wellbeing services county, and the results are counted separately for each county.
The first county elections will be conducted as separate elections, but as of 2025 they will be held in conjunction with the municipal elections.
The residents of Helsinki will not vote in the 2022 county elections, because the City of Helsinki is not a wellbeing services county and it does not belong to any of the counties. However, advance voting and voting at institutions will be organised in Helsinki for people eligible to vote in other wellbeing services counties.
Epidemic and election arrangements
The Ministry of Justice and the Finnish Institute for Health and Welfare (THL) are preparing measures required for ensuring that the upcoming county elections can be conducted safely regardless of the Covid-19 epidemic.
The municipal elections of June 2021 were conducted in compliance with the guidelines issued by the Ministry of Justice and the Finnish Institute for Health and Welfare. A variety of special arrangements were made at the polling stations to ensure safe voting despite the epidemic.
"The county elections will be conducted in January 2022 following the arrangements required by the epidemiological situation," the Ministry of Justice emphasizes.