Early voting begins today for the European Parliament elections.
Finns, and EU nationals registered to vote in Finland, can vote in advance between today and next Tuesday 21st May at more than 900 advance polling stations around the country.
They can be found at places like town halls, local libraries, shopping centres and post offices.
Voters who want to cast a ballot in advance – or on election day – must take some form of official photo ID like a passport, an identity card or a driving license.
Anyone without a valid proof of identity can obtain a temporary identity card free of charge from the police for voting purposes.
Overseas, Finns can vote in advance between 15th and 18th May.
Getting young voters to the polls
Finland has a problem with the low number of young people, aged 18-24, who turn out and vote. According to the EU’s own figures, at the last European Parliament election it was just 10%, the second lowest in the whole 28-nation block.
By comparison, 90% of young people in Belgium voted; 38% in Denmark; 66% in Sweden.
A new survey out today suggests those numbers could change, with 67.2% of young people saying they plan to vote in the European Parliament elections.
The poll was carried out by the State Youth Council and found no differences in voting intentions between men and women. However education background does make a difference to voting behaviour.
The survey found that 82.7% of university graduates plan to vote; while 74.7% of high school students say they will vote. But just 51% of those who have completed, or are studying for, a vocational qualification say they will vote in these elections.
Regional differences impact voting intentions as well. The new study finds that in the capital city region are the most likely to vote with 75.5%.
The most popular parties among young people are the Greens (30.2%), National Coalition Party (20.9%) followed by the Finns Party (14.6). However, almost half of those young people who took part in the survey say they don’t yet know which party they plan to vote for.
The survey was carried out by Taloustutkimus Oy between 23rd April and 10th May and interviewed 1505 young people between the ages of 18-29.
The actual European Parliament election day in Finland is Sunday 26th May.