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What you need to know about the municipal elections

You’ve probably heard that municipal elections are coming? Here are the quick pitches compiled by HAMKO on how you can use your voting rights in the upcoming elections.

What municipal elections?

In municipal elections, delegates are elected to municipal councils. Municipal elections are held every four years on the third Sunday in April. However, due to the coronavirus situation, the 2021 municipal elections will not be held in April, but on 13 June.

Voting rights – who is entitled to vote

You may vote in municipal elections if you are a citizen of Finland, another European Union member state, Iceland or Norway and you meet the following conditions:

  • you have turned 18 by election day (13 June 2021)
  • you have a municipality of residence in Finland by 23 April 2021

If you are a citizen of some other country, you may vote in the municipal elections if:

  • you have turned 18 by election day (13 June 2021)
  • you have had a municipality of residence in Finland continuously for at least two years before 23 April 2021

If necessary, you can check your municipality of residence from the Digital and Population
Data Services Agency. In the municipal elections, you may only vote for a candidate standing for election in your municipality of residence

How can I find a suitable candidate for myself?

Various media, such as YLE, have built a municipal election compasses that allows you to search for a candidate that matches your own opinions and values. In the election compass, you answer various questions with a line of opinion, and finally, the program shows you the candidates from your constituency who have agreed the most with you. In addition to the election compasses, the media examines the candidates of different parties before the election.

How does proportional representation work?

The election is a combination of a personal and a party election in which both a person and a party vote by a single number. The proportional representation, the d’Hondt method, is used to count the votes.

  1. First, the total number of votes received by each party in the constituency is calculated, after which the candidates of each party are ranked according to the number of votes.
  2. A peer figure is then calculated for each candidate so that the candidate with the most votes in the party receives the full number of votes on the benchmark.
  3. The second most voter receives half the number of votes, the third one gets one third, etc.
  4. After that, all the candidates in the constituency are placed in the order of the reference figures.
  5. As many candidates with the highest reference number as there are representatives from the constituency will be elected.

The polling stations

On election day, a person entitled to vote may vote only at the polling station indicated in the register of voting rights and the notice card received by the voter by post. Polling stations are open from 9 am to 8 pm. You can also vote in advance at any public advance polling station at home or abroad. Advance voting begins on the 11th day before election day and ends in Finland on the 5th day before election day and abroad on the 8th day before election day.

What do I need to have with me in the polling station?

Bring an identity card to the polling station, which may be an identity card issued by the police, a passport, a driving license or an equivalent pictorial document. If you do not have such a document, you can apply for a free temporary ID card to vote at the nearest police station. To apply for it, you need two passport photos up to six months old.


When you arrive at the polling station, present your ID to the election officer. They will look up your name on the electoral roll and give you a ballot. The election official will also mark on the electoral roll that you have voted.

  • Go to the ballot box with the ballot.
    • The booth has a pen and you can check your candidate number from the combination of candidate lists on the wall of the booth.
  • Use the pen to mark the number of the candidate you want to vote for on the ballot paper.
    • Do not write anything else on the ballot paper!
  • After marking the number on the ballot paper, fold it so that the number remains inside the fold and does not appear outward.
  • Go with the folded ballot paper to the election officer in charge of the ballot box. They will stamp your ballot.
  • You will then drop the stamped ballot in the ballot box, after which you can leave the polling station.

Let’s make a better student city together! Your vote does matter.

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