In January, Finland organizes its first county elections – here’s what you need to know

12 January, 2022

Election Day will be on the 23.1.2022 and the preliminary voting days are between the 12-18.1.2022. In the election you can vote for candidates in your wellbeing service county. If you are uncertain to what county you belong to you can check it from here. During December all notices for rights to vote were sent out by mail to eligible voters and from the notice you can check what polling station you shall vote at during Election Day. During the preliminary voting, you can choose from the other polling stations listed here.

The wellbeing services counties were instituted in connection with the health and social services reform (Sote-uudistus) and transfers the responsibility of health and social services as well as emergency services from the cities and municipalities to the new and fewer wellbeing services counties.

Resident of Helsinki or Åland?

Helsinki and Åland are excluded from the wellbeing services counties, which means that if you are registered as a resident in either of these areas, you don’t vote in the election. In Helsinki the City Council will exceptionally continue to hold responsibility for health and social services as well as emergency services. Åland is not affected by the social services reform at all and therefore not part of the election.

Why is it important to vote?

Young adults and students belong to the demographic with historically the lowest vote participation rate. In order to guarantee that the elected decisionmakers represent the population’s views and needs it is also important that the whole population’s voice is heard. According to early predictions the vote participation rate is expected to be low for the election, which can further affect an equal representation. A big reason behind the speculations of a low turnout for the election, is that the motivations behind the health and social services are perceived as unclear.

If you want to influence who decides on issues such as health care workers salaries and working conditions, where healthcare clinics should be located and what resources emergency services should have, make sure to support candidates that share your beliefs. If you are unsure which candidate to vote for you can try your luck with Yle’s election compass.