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More than 10% of Finland cast early votes in local elections

A polling station in Helsinki has seen up to 500 early voters turn up per day.

Advance voting in Finland's municipal elections was in its sixth day on Monday, with about 10.4 percent of the country's 4.4 million eligible voters already casting their votes.

According to data from the Ministry of Justice, as of 11am Monday the most eager early voters were found in the Central Ostrobothnian town of Lestijärvi, with nearly 26 percent turnout so far.

The ministry has set up a real-time voter turnout tracking webpage, which also provides municipality-specific details. A total of 463,985 votes across the country had been cast by just before midday on Monday.

Most residents in Finland can vote in municipal elections, regardless of nationality. Check out whether you are eligible to vote at canivote. We have compiled a really simple guide to Finland’s local elections, and you can also check out our election compass in English here.

Yle News' interviews with political party leaders in the run-up to the elections are available on the All Points North podcast on Yle Areena.

Story continues after photo.

Ennakkovaalivirkailija laittoi äänestyslipukkeen uurnaan 26. toukokuuta.
Ballot being turned in at early voting station. Image: Silja Viitala / Yle
Due to coronavirus concerns, the ministry postponed the municipal elections from 18 April to 13 June. It also extended the early voting period from one week to two, beginning on 26 May and concluding on 8 June.

Voting was relatively brisk at the Oulunkylä Library in Helsinki on Sunday, according to local election official Eila Ratasvuori.

"On Saturday we had nearly 200 voters, and only in the first hour on Sunday there were 40," she explained, saying that up to 500 voters per day showed up during the week.

"Oulunkylä Library has been very lively. Of course not everyone comes at once, but sometimes it will be a bit congested," Ratasvuori said, adding that there have been voters of all types casting their ballots early, including families with children, middle-aged people as well as senior citizens — but also first-time voters who recently turned 18.

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