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.

General advance polling stations in Finland and abroad can be found in the information and result service of the Ministry of Justice.

This is how you vote in advance

Before going to the polling station:

1. You must have an identity card issued by the police, a passport, a driving licence or another official photo ID with you when you go to the polling station.

  • If you vote in advance in Finland and you do not have such a document, you can apply for a free temporary identity card for voting at the nearest police station. To apply for it, you need two passport photos up to six months old.
  • You can also take with you the voting rights notice you received in your home by post (notice of voting rights), but you can also vote without it. If you are voting in advance at an institution or abroad, you may want to include a notice of voting rights as it will speed up voting in these places. If for some reason you have not received the notification, you can inquire about it and / or its information content from the Digital and Demographic Information Agency.

2. If you want to find out your candidate's number in advance, you can find the candidates information in the Ministry of Justice's result service, as well as in the candidates' own election advertisements and in the media, for example.

3. If you are unable to vote on your own, you can bring your own assistant. However, a personal assistant may not be a candidate in the election or his or her spouse, child, sibling or parent. If you do not have your own assistant involved, but need assistance, the election officer will assist you.

At the polling station

1. Present your ID to the election officer, who will give you a ballot.

2. Go to the polling station with the ballot paper (or abroad: in another space reserved for voting). If you need help making a vote, an election officer will assist you in the polling booth. There is a combination of a pen and a list of candidates on the wall of the ballot box. Please note that the master list of candidates displayed in the voting booth lists the candidates standing for election in the electoral district in which the advance polling station is located. The master lists of candidates of other electoral districts are displayed elsewhere at the polling station. In parliamentary elections, you may only vote for a candidate standing for election in your own electoral district.

3. Use the pen to mark the number of the candidate you want to vote for on the ballot paper (in the circle to the right of the ballot). Do not write anything else on the ballot paper!

4. After marking the number on the ballot paper, fold the ballot so that the number remains inside the fold and can not be seen outward.

Taitettu äänestyslippu.

5. With the ballot paper folded, go to the election officer in charge of the ballot box. They will stamp your ballot.

Leimattu äänestyslippu.

6. The election officer will then give you a brown envelope. Put the ballot paper in the ballot envelope, seal the envelope with glue and give it to the election officer.

Leimattu äänestyslippu laitetaan ruskeaan vaalikuoreen.

7. The election officer shall record in the register of voting rights that you have voted. He will print out the cover letter and ask you to sign it. Before signing, make sure that your name was printed on the cover letter. After you sign, the election officer will also sign the cover letter.

  • If a register of people entitled to vote is not used at the polling station, the election officer will enter your name on the voter list and ask you to sign a voting declaration if it is with you or to fill out a referral form by hand.

8. Finally, the election officer closes the signed cover letter and the ballot envelope containing the ballot paper in a yellow envelope. This envelope will be mailed to the central municipal election board.

  • Upon receiving of the envelope, the Central Election Commission opens it and checks from the envelope who has voted. After the inspection, the cover letter and the election envelope are separated. It should be noted that the central municipal election board will not open the envelope at this stage. The ballot envelopes will not be opened until election day, when the counting of votes will begin.

Vaalikuori, jonka sisällä on äänestyslippu, sekä lähetekirje suljetaan lähetekuoreen.

9. Once the election official has sealed your ballot paper in the yellow envelope, your vote is complete and you can leave the advance polling station.

How to vote in advance in elections video in easy-to-understand English

Easy English: 'How to vote in advance in elections' video at Youtube