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Municipal Elections 2021

The 2021 municipal elections will be held on 13 June 2021. The advance voting in Finland is between 26 May and 8 June and abroad between 2 and 5 June 2021.

Municipal elections concern each citizen, including students, and it is one of the most important elections in Finland. In the municipal elections the councillors who are the closest to our everyday life are chosen. By voting you can impact who represents students in your municipality.

The important role of municipalities in our everyday life cannot be highlighted enough. Municipalities decide on many important services, which include day care, education, health services, urban planning, public transportation, and cultural and sports services. So the matters decided in the municipalities are close to the everyday life of all citizens.

The highest decision-making municipal body is the municipal council, which is elected by its residents. The members of the council, or councillors, are elected in municipal elections for four-year terms. In both Joensuu and Kuopio, 59 councillors are elected to each municipality's municipal council.

Voting – When, Where, Who, How?

You can vote either on election day or before election day during the advance voting period. You may cast your vote only once.

The election day of the 2021 municipal election is Sunday, 13 June 2021, when the polling stations are open from 9am to 8pm. On election day, you may vote only at the polling station marked on the voting right notification that has been sent to you.

Advance voting begins in Finland on Wednesday, 26 May 2021 and ends on Tuesday, 8 June 2021. Advance voting begins abroad on Wednesday, 2 June 2021 and ends on Saturday, 5 June 2021. You can vote in advance at any polling station in Finland or abroad.

Advance voting is possible, for example, at the following polling stations:
- Joensuu city hall (Rantakatu 20)
- Main library’s Muikku room (Koskikatu 25)
- School building (Tikkamäentie 17)
- Prisma shopping centre(Savilahdentie 10)
- Puijonlaakso library (Mailatie 2)
- Kuopio city library (Maaherrankatu 12)
- Kuopio city hall (Tulliportinkatu 31)

You may vote in municipal elections if you have turned 18 by election day (13 June 2021). You also need to be a citizen of Finland, another European Union member state, Iceland or Norway, and you have a municipality of residence in Finland by 23 April 2021. You may also vote if you are a citizen of some other country if you have had a municipality of residence in Finland continuously for at least two years before 23 April 2021. 

To cast your vote during the advance voting period or on election day, go to your local
polling station. You may only vote for one of the candidates listed in the master list of
candidates in your municipality.
- Prove your identity to the election official by showing your passport, identity card, driving licence or other similar document. The election official will give you a ballot.
- Go to the polling booth. Only one person may enter a polling booth at a time. Mark the number of the candidate you are voting for on your ballot. You can only vote for one candidate. Write the number of your candidate in the circle on the ballot. Do not write or draw anything else on your ballot. Fold the ballot so that the number you wrote remains inside and is not visible to anyone else.
- Take your folded ballot to the election official. They will stamp the ballot. If you are voting on election day, drop your stamped ballot in the ballot box. If you are voting in advance, the election official will give you an election envelope in which you will seal your stamped ballot.

Take care in your part of a safe voting situation by using a face mask and keeping a safe distance of 2 metres from others. Remember to use hand sanitizer and follow the directions of election officials. When your identification is verified at the polling station, place your identification card where the election official indicates. When the election official asks you to remove your mask, do so by taking hold of the cord from each side of the mask. When the election official clears you, place the mask back to your face without touching your face with your hands.

Read More:

Vaalit.fi, opens in a new tab: Municipal elections
Joensuu.fi, opens in a new tab: Cast your vote in the municipal elections this spring
Kuopio.fi, opens in a new tab: Polling stations for advance voting in Kuopio (in Finnish)

2021 Municipal Elections Goals of Students in Joensuu


...a more climate-friendly Joensuu. 
Students want their everyday life to be more climate friendly. For example, better possibilities of recycling and development of a more climate-friendly transportation enable this and support the realisation of the city's climate goals

...more healthier students. 
Areas of public health services need to be accessible and information needs to be easily available also in English. The health of students needs to be advanced by making the access to mental health services easier and by offering free birth control to people under 29 years of age

...better employment.
Students' connections to work-life and opportunities for internships need to be advanced in Joensuu. For example, financial incentives for companies to take interns would advance the connections of students to the local employers. Also the railway track projects need to be advanced.

These goals have been made together with The Student Union of the University of Eastern Finland ISYY, The Student Union of Karelia University of Applied Sciences POKA, and Riveria student body Pyro.

2021 Municipal Elections Goals of Students in Kuopio

The Student Union of the University of Eastern Finland ISYY and Student Union of the Savonia University of Applied Sciences SAVOTTA have examined in collaboration with Student Union of Humak University of Applied Sciences HUMAKO what are the opinions of university students in Kuopio about Kuopio and its biggest targets for development. In total there are approximately 13 000 university students in Kuopio.

97 % of the students who answered the survey made by ISYY and SAVOTTA say that they enjoy staying in Kuopio and 66 % would like to stay in Kuopio after their graduation. We have gathered the main shortcomings, of which some also have easy practical solutions, that rose out of the survey.

1. Local transportation
The current routes do not serve all residential areas. For example, you cannot get to the railway station or travel center from everywhere in the city, and there is no direct line to the Savilahti campus area from Puijonlaakso. The prices of single tickets are expensive in contrast to other student cities of the same size. Especially during hours outside the rush hours the prices of tickets need to be lowered and the price of single tickets should be cheaper on the mobile application than with a physical ticket.

2. East rail
Most of the students in Kuopio are from outside North Karelia. Good transport connections between  the place of study and home city are essential for students. Students also consider fast train connections to the Greater Helsinki area to be important.

3. Possibilities of recycling
95 % of students think that environmentally friendly Kuopio is important and the topic raises concerns among respondents. More broad possibilities of recycling are wanted especially in the centre area of Kuopio. More trash cans should also be supplied to public areas and to, for example, along walking trails. The voice of youth and students needs to be heard with matters that concern the environment.

4. Advancement of places of culture and sports
The time of the pandemic has shown that supporting and advancing people's opportunities to pursue and practice their topics of interest is extremely important. In Kuopio, there is a poor selection of possibilities for culture that are tempting for the youth. In addition, there is a lack of concert spaces. The advancement and maintenance of outside sports places (for example, walking trails, outdoor gyms, disc golf courses) and cultural services are of primary importance, because these services advance the welfare of people.

5. Internationality
58 % of students feel that the internationality of Kuopio is important, but they do not feel that it is represented in the cityscape of Kuopio. Because Kuopio does continuously attract more international residents for both studying and working purposes, the city needs to carry out anti-racism actions also with work towards attitudes. Kuopio needs to make sure that its services are accessible in other languages in addition to Finnish also in the future. The city of Kuopio could also offer support services to actors in the third sector to make attaching to the community easier.

Students’ Municipal Elections Panels

Follow the students’ municipal elections panels and you can collect an overall badge from the ISYY offices. Make an appointment to the office and collect the badge by 17 June 2021.

ISYY Offices Contact Information, opens in a new tab: Offices Contact Information


The Student Union of the University of Eastern Finland ISYY, the Student Union of Karelia University of Applied Sciences POKA, and Riveria student body Pyro are organising the Joensuu students’ municipal elections panel on Tuesday 18 May at 14.

The municipal elections panel is held at the Tikkarinne campus of the Karelia University of Applied Sciences. The panel will be streamed to the City of Joensuu’s Youtube channel.

City of Joensuu's Youtube channel, opens in a new tab: Youtube channel Joensuun kaupunki 

Read More:

Isyy.fi, opens in a new tab: The Students’ Municipal Elections Panel to be Organised in Joensuu on 18 May

More Information: 

Mirka Laine, The Student Union of Karelia University of Applied Sciences POKA, puheenjohtaja@pokapoka.fi


The Student Union of the University of Eastern Finland ISYY, the Student Union of the Savonia University of Applied Sciences SAVOTTA, and the Student Union of Humak University of Applied Sciences HUMAKO are organising the Kuopio students’ municipal elections panel on Wednesday 19 May at 14.

The municipal elections panel is held via remote connections and it will be streamed to the ISYY Youtube channel.

ISYY Youtube channel, opens in a new tab: Kuopio students' municipal elections panel stream (Savotta, Samok, ISYY)

Read More:

Isyy.fi, opens in a new tab: The Students’ Municipal Elections Panel is Organised in Kuopio on 19 May

Updated on 12 May 2021.