Organisation : Elections Website of Ministry of Justice Finland
Facility : How to Vote
Country : Finland
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How to Vote :
Voting on Election Day :
** On election day the polling stations are open between 9 a.m. and 8 p.m.
** There is at least one polling station in every municipality, and the total number is approximately 2200.
** Voters may cast their votes at the polling station stated in the voting register and on the card sent to them before the elections.
Instructions for voting on election day :
1. You need to have your identity card with you at the polling station. It is also good if you have the notice of your right to vote (card of information) with you.
2. Present your identity card to the election official who checks in the voting register that you are entitled to vote and hands you a ballot.
3. Take the ballot with you and enter a voting booth. Write the number of the candidate you want to vote for on the ballot. Do not write anything else on the ballot! Fold the ballot so that the number cannot be seen.
4. Take the folded ballot with you and go to the election offcial who takes care of the ballot box. The election official will stamp your ballot.
5. Drop the ballot into the ballot box. After this you can leave the polling station.
Voting in advance :
** The advance voting begins on Wednesday eleven days before election day, and ends abroad on Saturday eight days and in Finland on Tuesday five days before election day.
** General advance polling stations where any person entitled to vote may do so are in Finland municipal offices and post-offices determined by municipalities and abroad Finnish embassies prescribed in decree.
** In every municipality there is at least one such polling station.
** In Finland special advance polling stations are hospitals, prisons and some other institutions where only the people who receive treatment or are incarcerated there may vote.
** In addition, people whose ability to move or function is so restricted that they are unable to come to an advance polling station or a polling station on election day may vote in advance at home, i.e. an election commissioner comes to them to receive their vote.
** The crew of a Finnish ship abroad may vote in advance on board the ship.
** The advance voting in ships can begin already on the 18th day before election day.
Central Principles of Holding Elections :
All Finnish elections follow the principles below:
** The elections are direct. Electors (those entitled to vote) vote directly for the person they want to be elected.
** The elections are proportional.
** In proportional elections each party or other group gains seats in relation to the votes cast for it compared with the votes cast for other groups.
** For example if a party gets 20 percent of the votes, it should also get 20 percent of the seats.
** (This does not apply to presidential elections in which votes are only cast for a candidate, not for a party.)
** The elections are secret.
** Secrecy of the ballot means that neither the election authorities nor anyone else get to know for whom voters have cast their votes or whether they have returned an empty ballot.
** The right to vote is universal and equal.
** A universal franchise signifies that the right to vote only depends on requirements which citizens usually fulfil.
** For example the only requirements in the parliamentary elections are: Finnish citizenship and 18 years age.
** An equal franchise means that every person entitled to vote has an equal right to influence the election results, i.e. everyone has the same number of votes.
** In general elections everybody has one vote.
** Voting is personal.
** The right to vote may not be used through an agent.
** Voting takes place in front of election authorities.
** The reason for this is an attempt to guarantee that the elections are trustworthy, the voters may freely express their will, and that secrecy is maintained.
** The election authorities usually are fiduciary representatives.
** The system is a combination of voting for individuals and parties.
** A vote goes both to a party and a person. (This does not apply to presidential elections in which votes are only cast for a candidate, not for a party.)