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 five 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. 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. 

Ministry of Justice is continually developing the election information system.