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Advance voting for 2006 Presidential Elections begins today
Today, Wedenesday, is the first day for advance voting in the 2006 Presidential Elections, being contested by eight candidates from across the political spectrum. Advance voting, which in recent years has increased in popularity, is particularly recommended for those who may not find it easy to get to their own polling station on the actual election day, January 15th. Every Finnish citizen who has reached eighteen years of age on the day of the first election at the latest has the right to vote. The President of the Republic of Finland is elected by a direct vote, if necessary, in two rounds. The first round in the Finnish Presidential Elections will be held on 15th January 2006, and the possible second round on 29th January 2006.
The advance voting period for the first round of the Finnish Presidential Elections 2006 is from 4th to 5th and from 7th to 10th January. Because of Epiphany, the advance polling stations in Finland will be closed on 6th January. On the other hand, most advance voting stations will be open through the following weekend.
In the possible second round, the advance voting period in Finland is from 18 to 24 January.
It is possible to vote in advance at any of the general advance polling stations in Finland, whereas on the actual election day, voters may cast their votes only at the polling station stated on the blue information card sent to them before the elections.
Advance polling stations include municipal offices, libraries, and post offices. There is at least one advance polling station in every municipality, and a list of these stations is attached to the information card.
In addition, information on all advance polling stations with their addresses and opening hours is available on the Internet at www.vaalit.fi. It is also possible to call the election information service numbers of the Ministry of Justice: 0800 1 57575 (for information in Finnish) or 0800 1 38383 (for information in Swedish). The telephone service is free of charge.
Special advance polling stations are hospitals, prisons and some other institutions where only the people who are receiving treatment or who are incarcerated there may vote. Furthermore, the crew of a Finnish vessel abroad may vote in advance on board the ship.
Moreover, it is possible to vote in advance at any of the 237 Finnish diplomatic or consular representations abroad. In the first election, the advance voting period abroad is from 4th to 7th January, and in the possible second round from 18th to 21st January. Many advance polling stations abroad are, however, open for a shorter period than the one mentioned above. More details from the Ministry of Justice sites below.