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Parliamentary elections on 17 April 2011

Ministry of Justice 16.3.2011 9.10
Press release -

The parliamentary elections will be held on 17 April 2011. Due to the amendment to the Election Act that entered into force last year, parliamentary elections will from now on be held in April instead of March. In the elections, 200 Members of Parliament are elected for a four-year term.

For the purposes of parliamentary elections, the country has been divided into 15 electoral districts. A number of representatives proportional to the number of Finnish citizens residing in the electoral district six months prior to the elections is elected from each electoral district. However, from the electoral district of Åland is always elected one representative.

Every Finnish citizen, who has reached the age of 18 not later than on the day of the elections, is entitled to vote. Those entitled to vote receive a polling card (a notice of right to vote) by post from the Population Register Centre. The address of the polling station where the voter is entitled to vote on election day is stated in the notice. Enclosed is also a list of the advance polling stations in the voter's own electoral district.

In the parliamentary elections, voters may vote either on election day, which is on Sunday, 17 April, or in advance during the advance voting period between 6 and 12 April. Voters may only vote for a person who stands as a candidate in the voter's own electoral district.

Voters must provide proof of their identity both when voting on election day and when voting in advance. The identity card must have a photo on it.

An electronic electoral roll will be tested in connection with the voting on election day in approximately 30 voting districts across the country. Once a person has used his or her right to vote, this is recorded in the electoral roll. So far, the recording has been made manually to an electoral roll in paper form. The electronic electoral roll has, however, been used at advance polling stations also in previous elections.

Advance voting in Finland and abroad

Advance voting in the parliamentary elections begins in Finland on Wednesday, 6 April, and ends on Tuesday, 12 April. There are altogether 901 general advance polling stations in Finland. The number has increased by around 40 since the previous parliamentary elections.

Advance voting is arranged abroad from 6 to 9 April, but the voting period is shorter than this at several advance polling stations abroad.

Those entitled to vote may do so at any of the general advance polling stations in Finland or abroad. Information on the addresses and opening hours of the advance polling stations is available on the Elections website of the Ministry of Justice at www.vaalit.fi. It is also possible to get information on the advance polling stations by calling the Ministry of Justice's election information service number 0800 9 4770 (for information in Finnish) or 0800 9 4771 (for information in Swedish). The information service is free of charge.

People whose ability to move 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. Those who wish to vote in advance at their home must notify the central election committee in their municipality of this intention on 5 April 2011 before 4 p.m. at the latest. What is new in these elections is that the family carer ofa person entitled to vote at home, living in the same household, may under certain conditions also vote at home.

Voting on election day, 17 April 2011

The election day is Sunday, 17 April, and the polling stations are then open between 9 a.m. and 8 p.m. On election day, voters may cast their votes only at the polling station mentioned in the polling card sent to them in advance.

Results of the elections will be published after 8 p.m. on election day

The count of the votes will be started immediately after the polling stations have closed their doors on election day, 17 April. Preliminary information on the count will be published after 8 p.m, when the preliminary count of the advance votes will mainly be completed. However, it is possible that the results of the advance voting in the largest electoral districts, such as Uusimaa and Helsinki, will not be completely counted by 8 p.m.

The count of the advance votes and the check count of the votes cast on election day are carried out by the constituency electoral committees. They will confirm the number of votes received by each candidate, political party and electoral alliance in the electoral district in question at their meeting on 20 April 2011 starting at 6 p.m.

Election funding disclosure must be filed with the National Audit Office of Finland

The newly elected Members of Parliament and their deputy Members of Parliament must file an election funding disclosure with the National Audit Office of Finland. The disclosure must be filed by 20 June 2011. Further information on the disclosures is available at www.puoluerahoitusvalvonta.fi (in Finnish and Swedish).

Further information:
Arto Jääskeläinen, Director/Electoral Administration, tel. +358 9 1606 7572
Jussi Aaltonen, Ministerial Adviser, tel. +358 9 1606 7620
E-mail: [email protected]


Further information and the election results are available on the Elections website at http://www.vaalit.fi

- Information on the parliamentary elections in different languages

- Information on the advance polling stations and their opening hours

- Information on the candidates and their candidate numbers will be published on the website on 18 March

- Every day around 6 p.m. and 9 p.m. during the advance voting period, information on the total number of advance voters in the entire country will be published on the Elections website. At 9 p.m., the number of advance voters in each electoral district and in each municipality will also be published. During the weekend, this information will be updated around 5 p.m.

- Once the preliminary count of the votes has been completed on the evening of the election day, 17 April, the names of the elected Members of Parliament and the votes received by them will be published on the Elections website. In addition, the number of votes and the percentage of all votes received by each political party in the entire country, in each electoral district and in each municipality will also be published. Once the preliminary count is completed, the total number of votes received by each candidate and the number of votes received by them in each voting district will also be published on the website.

- The confirmed, final results will be published on the Elections website once the check count has been completed on 20 April.

Tuija Brax