Democracy Volunteers deployed twelve observers across Finland today for the Finnish Parliamentary elections. The team was made up of observers from the United Kingdom (7), Canada (2), Germany (1), Kosovo (1) and Italy (1).
A team of five elections experts have been deployed since Monday 8th April with the Short Term Observers arriving on Thursday 11th April. The expert team deployed since Monday has been meeting elections officials, media, political parties and national elections officials, as part of their work, to prepare their findings for the elections. They have been looking at local, regional and national practice to try to identify ways to encourage best practice and make recommendations to those authorities to enhance the electoral process in Finland in the future. They were:
- Head of Mission: John Ault
- Deputy Head of Mission: Alex Ollington
- Media Expert: Elizabeth Blunt
- Electoral Process Expert: Kim Kippen
- Political Analyst: Burbuqe Brahimi
The observation deployed observers in teams of two across five of the thirteen Finnish constituencies (Helsinki, Uusimaa, Tavastia, Pirkanmaa and Oulu). In total the team observed 65 polling stations across seven cities and municipalities. They were:
- Espoo 10
- Helsinki 16
- Kerava 1
- Laiti 4
- Oulu 12
- Tampere 11
- Vantaa 11
Commenting, Head of Mission and Director of Democracy Volunteers, Dr John Ault said;
‘Today we have seen an excellent and well-run polling day across the cities which we have observed. Polling stations have been very busy all day with staff dealing well with large numbers of voters at the busiest times.
‘Although we often see significant levels of family voting in some European elections we have seen notably low levels of family voting in today’s election, lower than 0.15% of all the voters we observed today. This shows respect for the secret ballot and the right of family members to vote for themselves, the way they want.
‘We will be reporting our findings to the Ministry of Justice before the forthcoming European Parliamentary elections.’