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Right to Vote and Compilation of the Voting Register

Entitled to vote in municipal elections are
1) citizens of Finland or another Member State of the European Union as well as of Iceland and Norway who have reached the age of 18 not later than on the day of the election, and whose municipality of residence, as defined by law, is the municipality in question on the 51st day before election day,
2) other foreigners who have reached the age of 18 not later than on the day of the election, and whose municipality of residence, as defined by law, is the municipality in question on the 51st day before election day, and who at that time have had a municipality of residence in Finland for an uninterrupted period of two years and
3) those who are employed by the European Union or an international organisation based in Finland and who are habitually resident in the municipality in question on the 51st day before the election day, provided that their personal information has, at their request, been entered into the Population Information System and that they have submitted a written notification to the local register office, no later than on the 52nd day before the election day, stating that they wish to exercise their right to vote in the municipal elections.

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 civic administration (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 civic administration 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 civic administration 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.

 
Published 13.2.2017