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Right to Vote and Compilation of the Voting Rights

Right to Vote

Entitled to vote in European Elections held in Finland are
1) regardless of domicile every Finnish citizen who has reached the age of 18 not later that on the day of the election, and
2) every citizen of another Member State of the European Union who has reached the age of 18 not later than on the day of the election and whose municipality of residence, as defined by law, is in Finland on the 51st day before the election day, or who is employed by the European Union or an international organisation in Finland or is a family member of such a person and resides in Finland and has not lost the right to vote in the Member State whose citizen he or she is.

A prerequisite for the right to vote is, however, that the person enrolls with the voting register in Finland 80 days before election day to the local register office . To enroll to the voting register you can use the form for registration of the right to vote .

A person entitled to vote may only vote in one Member State in the same European elections, either in his/her home state or in his/her country of residence.

A Finnish citizen, who has registered as a voter in another Member State, is not entitled to vote in the European elections in Finland.

Compilation of the Voting Rights

The Population Register Centre compiles a computer register of everyone entitled to vote (voting register) 46 days before election day. This registers contains some of the information on the voters (e.g. name, personal number, electoral district, municipality of residence, and polling station) which was in the Population Information System 51 days before election day.

The voting register is publicly available at the local register office (maistraatti) from day 41 before election day. In addition, everyone in the register is sent a notice of his or her right to vote (card of information) not later than 24 days before election day. The card states i.a. the election day, the days for advance voting, the address of the polling station of the recipient, and the addresses and telephone numbers of the election authorities. The voting register is later used to print out electoral rolls for the polling stations on election day.

Claims for correction of the register have to be submitted to the local register office not later than 16 days before election day. A correction may be demanded e.g. if somebody considers that he or she has without cause been left out of the register or that the information in the register is incorrect. The local register office shall decide the claims not later than 13 days before election day. A person not satisfied with a decision may appeal against it to a regional administrative court within seven days of service. The decision of the regional administrative court is not subject to appeal. An appeal to the Supreme Administrative Court is, however, possible in accordance with so-called extraordinary rights of appeal, i.e. an extraordinary appeal or application for the annulment of the administrative decision or for the restoration of lapsed time may be submitted. These are nevertheless extremely rare.

The voting register becomes legally valid at noon 12 days before election day. After this it may not be amended, i.e. a person may neither be erased from nor added to the register and the information may not be changed. The only exceptions to this are the cases in which a regional administrative court or the Supreme Administrative Court reaches its decision after the register has already become legally valid. Then persons who e.g. pursuant to the court decision have been added to the voting register may vote in the elections, but they have to take the decision with them to the polling station and present it to the election authorities.


Important dates in the European Elections 2014:

  • Citizens of other Member States of the European Union must notify that they wish to use their right to vote in Finland by Thursday 6 March 2014.
  • The voting register is compiled on 9 April on the basis of the information in the Population Information System on 4 April.
  • The voting register is publicly available at the local register office (maistraatti) from 14 April.
  • The notices of the right to vote are sent to the voters on 2 May at the latest.
  • Claims for correction of the register have to be submitted to the local register office by Friday 9 May. The local register office shall decide the claims by 12 May.
  • The voting register gains legal force on Tuesday 13 May at noon.



 
Published 21.2.2014