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Helsinki uses outdoor polling stations for the first time

Helsinki uses outdoor polling stations for the first time

Individuals will be allowed to vote from their vehicles

On 26 May, the Finnish capital announced that it will use outdoor polling stations for its municipal elections for the first time. More specifically, 2 drive-in tents have been set up by the Helsinki City Construction Services Stara for advance voting.

According to the municipality, the locations of the outdoor polling stations have been chosen to ensure the smooth movement of all voters. As such, they will be located in the vicinity of the Töölö Race Hall at Mäntymäki Airport and the former Malmi Airport.

You can vote from your vehicle

In a press release, Helsinki reported that voters can arrive via vehicles, bicycles and on foot. Moreover, they will be allowed to vote from their cars as long as there are no other passengers in the vehicle; this rule has been put in place to guarantee privacy and secrecy during voting.

Stara’s production manager Mika Honkasalo commented: “In the design, we have taken into account the different ways of moving. The tent will have separate lanes for cars and light traffic. You can vote by car, bicycle and on foot.”

The tents will be 20x25 metres and they will therefore ensure that there is sufficient distance between voters. This, paired with the possibility of voting outdoors and from the comfort of one’s vehicle, will undoubtedly alleviate the concerns of those who are afraid of the virus.

Where and when can you vote?

Advance voting will take place from Wednesday 26 May until Tuesday 8 June. In total, there are 37 polling stations, including the 2 new outdoor tents. The majority of the stations are located in libraries and shopping centres throughout the capital.

The working hours of the outdoor polling stations are as follows:

  • Töölö: 8 am to 8 pm on weekdays and 10 am to 6 pm on weekends
  • Former Malmi Airport: 9 am to 8 pm on weekdays and 10 am to 6 pm on weekends

The election day is Sunday 13 June.

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