Right to vote

Those who have reached the age of 18 no later than the day of the election have the right to vote in Finland. Every Finnish citizen of voting age has the right to vote in national elections and referenda, regardless of their place of residence.

In European Parliamentary elections, besides the Finnish citizens, citizens of European Union Member States are entitled to vote provided that they have notified the local register office of their wish to use their right to vote only in Finland. If a Finnish citizen registers as a voter in another EU Member State, he is not entitled to vote the Finnish candidates.

Those with a municipality of residence in Finland have the right to vote in municipal elections and municipal referenda. In addition to Finnish citizens, citizens of EU Member States as well as Iceland and Norway are entitled to vote in these elections and referenda, as are other foreign citizens if they have resided permanently in Finland for more than two years.

All those with the right to vote may vote in any general advance polling station in Finland or abroad. On the day of the election you can only vote at the polling station specified for you on the basis of your permanent place of residence entered into the Population Information System. Voters who reside permanently abroad can in national elections vote on the day of the election at a polling station determined separately by their last municipality of residence, i.e. the population registration municipality.

Notification of eligibility before the elections

The Population Register Centre posts the notification of eligibility (notification card) to each eligible voter no later than 24 days before the day of the election. The notification card specifies the advance polling stations and the person’s election day polling station and tells which municipality or election district’s candidates the person is entitled to vote.

The notification of eligibility is sent to the address of the person’s permanent residence registered in the Population Information System either in Finland or abroad. If a permanent address has not been registered for a person, the notification card is sent their postal address or temporary address in Finland or abroad. 

Do you live abroad? It is still a good idea to keep your address details up-to-date. 

Municipal referenda 

If a municipal referendum is organised, the municipal executive board informs the Population Register Centre of the referendum at least 55 days before the referendum date. The Population Register Centre provides the municipality’s central election committee with the voting lists no later than 30 days before the referendum date. The central election committee sends postal voting documents to those entitled to vote no later than 19 days before the referendum date.

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Legislation