Voting is one thing – involvement is key
PAM-member Emre Ag is voting for the first time in the Finnish municipal elections on 13 June.
“Every citizen should definitely be aware of what is happening around him or her”, says PAM-member Emre Ag. He is voting for the first time in the Finnish municipal elections on 13 June in Turku.
Many regard voting as a fundamental right and a necessity for democracy. Emre Ag underlines the importance of people getting more involved.
“By that, I mean follow what is going on locally, who is doing what in office between elections. That way you are in a better position to also vote and keep track of things”, he says.
It will be Emre Ag’s first time walking to the voting poll on 13 June.
“It’s exciting to be part of a new community, and it feels like a first welcome to the city of Turku, where I live, work and study. Even though, I am not a Finnish citizen, this makes me feel at home. The city has an impact on my life, and by voting, I can also have a saying in matters”, he elaborates.
The right to vote in the municipal elections is defined by your home municipality, not citizenship.
“I learned that you can actually vote in the municipal elections while studying in Estonia. This caught my eye, and I knew I would be able to do it in Finland when moving here”.
The pandemic has stirred things up and closed down sport halls, libraries and other public facilities.
“I am also a basketball player and all of our games have been cancelled due to the pandemic. This made me curious to find out more about who is making the decisions on a local and regional level regarding the sport halls and their re-opening schedule”.
Being an active member of society and having interest in his community’s affairs is meaningful to Emre.
“Whatever job you do and however you define yourself – as a teacher, driver or astronaut. One thing, which you don’t choose to be, is a citizen. So why not be better at it and make the most of it”, he says.
Municipal elections 13 June, 2021
Municipal elections 2021 will be held on June 13, 2021. The election has been moved from April to June due to the corona situation. Advance voting will be held in Finland from May 26 to June 8 and abroad from June 2 to June 5.
Who has the right to vote?
Entitled to vote in municipal elections are citizens of Finland or other foreigners who have reached the age of 18 not later than on the day of the election, and whose municipality of residence, as defined by law, is the municipality in question on 23 April 2021 (on the 51st day before election day), and who at that time have had a municipality of residence in Finland for an uninterrupted period of two years.
Get familiar with PAM's themes for election here.
Text:: Marie Sandberg-Chibani