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Advance voting in regional elections climbs to 26%

The advance voting period ended on Tuesday, with election day proper on Sunday 23 January.

Advance voting in the regional election had been open for one week from 12-18 January. Image: Jarkko Riikonen / Yle

The week-long advance voting period for Finland's regional elections closed on Tuesday, with 26.4 percent of eligible voters so far casting their ballots.

This amounts to just over one million people, but advance voting was not as brisk as before last June's municipal elections, when 33.1 percent of voters turned out early.

However, the advance voting period for the municipal elections was extended to two weeks due to the coronavirus situation at the time.

The last day of this election's advance voting period was the busiest, pollsters said, as voters choose delegates for newly-formed county councils, which will oversee social, healthcare and emergency services from the beginning of 2023.

Residents of Helsinki are not voting in this election, as the city will continue to arrange and provide social, healthcare and emergency services in the capital region without forming a special wellbeing services county.

A poll published last month suggested that voter turnout in the election may struggle to reach 40 percent.

Election day proper is Sunday, 23 January, and most foreigners living in Finland are eligible to vote.