Advance voting abroad in Finland's county elections in 2022
County elections will be held in Finland on Sunday 23 January 2022. The advance voting period is from 12 to 18 January 2022 in Finland and from 12 to 15 January 2022 abroad. The advance polling stations abroad will be located in Finland's diplomatic and consular missions or their offices in 71 different countries. A total of 97 advance polling stations will be open abroad.
The Ministry for Foreign Affairs is responsible for organising advance voting in Finland’s missions abroad and on board Finnish ships sailing outside the Finnish territory during the advance voting period. The Ministry of Justice has the overall responsibility for conducting the elections. The Electionsfinland.fi website contains a list of the advance polling stations(Link to another website.) (Opens New Window) and their opening hours as well as general information about county elections(Link to another website.) (Opens New Window).
A total of 21 wellbeing services counties have been established in Finland. The new wellbeing services counties constitute the electoral districts for the county elections. In the elections, the members and deputy members of county councils in each wellbeing services county will be elected. The county councils will be responsible for organising health, social and rescue services in the wellbeing services counties. No county elections will be conducted in Helsinki and Åland, as they do not belong to any wellbeing services county. The City of Helsinki and the Province of Åland continue to be responsible for organising health, social and rescue services within their area.
The right to vote in county elections is determined in the same way as in municipal elections. The right to vote is linked to a place of residence in a certain wellbeing services county. This means that Finns residing permanently abroad are not entitled to vote in the county elections. Read more about the right to vote(Link to another website.) (Opens New Window).
Right to vote can be exercised through postal voting
In addition to voting at an advance polling station abroad, eligible voters staying abroad during the advance voting period and on election day may also vote by post.
The Ministry of Justice is responsible for organising the postal voting. Eligible voters who are planning to vote at an advance polling station abroad are also encouraged to order the postal voting documents, as it is possible that advance voting cannot be organised as planned due to the COVID-19 situation. The epidemic may also affect the availability of postal services in some countries. The Ministry of Justice will cover the cost of the use of commercial courier services for the delivery of postal voting documents to these countries. The Electionsfinland.fi(Link to another website.) (Opens New Window) website contains further information on the important dates for postal voting, the postal voting instructions and the order form for postal voting documents.
Possible effects of the COVID-19 pandemic
Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, it is possible that voting cannot be organised in the advance polling stations as planned because local authorities may impose restrictions or lockdowns at short notice.
Read more about advance voting on the missions’ websites(Link to another website.) (Opens New Window).