Organisation : Elections Website of Ministry of Justice Finland
Facility : Election Information System
Country : Finland
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Election Information System :
** Data processing in connection with elections has been systematically developed in Finland since 1990.
** The object has been to improve the election readiness and security, to diversify and speed up the election information service and to achieve resource savings.
** As a result of the development work an election information system (EIS, in finnish VAT) consisting of six subsystems has been in use since 1996.
The systems contain:
1. Basic data, including data on electoral districts, municipalities, voting districts and election authorities.
2. Data on polling stations (polling station register), including data on general advance polling stations and polling stations on Election Day.
3. Franchise data (Voting register) for which data on every person entitled to vote are collected from the Population Information System. A separate voting register is compiled for each election and a polling card is sent to everyone appearing in the register as proof of his or her right to vote in the elections. The register is open to public inspection. Possible claims for correction can be submitted to the City Administrative Court. The voting register gains legal force on the 12th day before Election Day. The voting register is used at the advance polling stations and the voting of every advance voter is recorded therein. After the advance voting is completed voters’ lists for each polling station are printed out from the voting register for the elections on Election Day. The voting register can, however, be used at the Election Day polling station instead of a voters’ lists. After the election the voting register is destroyed.
4. Data on candidates (candidate register) in which the following data on each candidate in the elections is entered: name, candidate number, profession, municipality of residence, party/constituency association that has nominated the candidate, and social security number.
5. A centralized calculation system to which the electoral district committees and the central election committees submit their results of the elections as they are ready, using result computation programmes.
6. Statistics and information service by means of which the results of the elections and other statistical data are transmitted to the media and to Statistics Finland.
The election information system also comprises a control and management system. Technically the system is based on an IBM OS390 mainframe and DB2 and IDMS databases. The election information system is owned by the Ministry of Justice, which has made an agreement on its technical use with a private IT-company. The Ministry of Justice is continually developing the election information system in the light of developments made in the area of ADP technology in general.
Appeal Against Election Results :
** Decisions on the confirmation of the results of the first and second presidential elections are not subject to appeal.
** In other elections these decisions may, however, be appealed against to a regional administrative court within 14 days of the publication of the election results.
An appeal may be submitted
1) on the ground that a decision is illegal by
** a person whose interests or rights are violated by the decision,
** the candidates, and
** the parties or joint lists which have taken part in the elections, and
2) on the ground that the elections have not been held in proper order by
** everyone entitled to vote and
** a municipality member in municipal elections.
If a decision or measure of an election authority has been illegal and this clearly may have influenced the election results, the results shall be amended or, if that is not possible, new elections shall be ordered to be held in the electoral district (parliamentary elections), municipality (municipal elections), or in the entire country (European elections).
Appeals against the decision of the regional administrative court may be lodged with the Supreme Administrative Court.
Election Funding :
** The Act on a Candidate’s Election Funding (273/2009) entered into force on 1 May 2009.
** The Act lays down provisions on candidate’s election funding and its disclosure in parliamentary elections, presidential elections, municipal elections and European Parliamentary elections.
** The Act was amended in 2010 and the amendments entered into force on 1 September 2010.
** The amendments to the Act on Political Parties (10/1969) concerning the funding of political parties entered into force on 1 September 2010.
** However, some of these provisions will not be applied until 1 January 2011.
What does election funding mean? :
According to the Act, election funding means the funding raised to cover the costs of the candidate’s election campaign incurred over a period starting no earlier than six months before the election day and ending no later than two weeks after the election day irrespective of when such costs are paid.
The candidate’s election funding may consist of :
1) the candidate’s own funds and any loans taken out by the candidate for the campaign,
2) campaign contributions received by the candidate, his or her support group or other entityoperating exclusively for the purpose of promoting the candidate and
3) other campaign contributions.
Who needs to file a election funding disclosure? :
An election funding disclosure is to be filed by:
1) those elected Members of Parliament in Parliamentary elections and those appointed Deputy Members when the election results are confirmed,
2) those elected Members of the European Parliament and those appointed Deputy Members when the election results are confirmed,
3) parties which have nominated candidates in Presidential elections or representatives of constituency associations or their substitutes and
4) a council member and an alternate member elected in municipal elections; and
To which authority are the election funding disclosures sent? :
** The election funding disclosure must be filed with the National Audit Office of Finland within two months of the confirmation of the election results.
** Filing of the disclosure can be done by using the form approved by the National Audit Office.
** Compliance with the disclosure obligation is to be overseen by the National Audit Office of Finland.
Advance disclosure :
A candidate or a political party nominating a Presidential candidate and the polling representative of a constituency association nominating a candidate may file an advance disclosure with the National Audit Office containing an estimate of campaign funding and costs not earlier than 31 days before the election day.
Where are the election funding disclosures and advance disclosures available? :
The National Audit Office of Finland keeps a register containing the information in the election funding disclosures and advance disclosures. The register is available at vaalirahoitusvalvonta.fi (only in Finnish and Swedish).