Resident and Non-Resident Finnish Citizens View External Voting Rights Differently

The FACE Project Manager Johanna Peltoniemi, together with Staffan  Himmelroos,  draw on public opinion research to gain new insights on external voting rights. They examine the desirability of external voting, an issue where political theorists have been quite divided, by asking both resident and non-resident citizens how they view external voting rights. In their article recently published in Scandinavian Political Studies, they show that resident and non-resident Finnish citizens view external voting rights differently. They suggest that voting rights have a different meaning for residents and non-residents: To the majority of the resident citizens voting rights insinuate an active relationship with the democratic society they are part of, whereas for non-residents, electoral rights in the homeland seem to be important primarily as a symbolic gesture of romanticized belonging to the country of origin. The article is available in an open access format at https://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1111/1467-9477.12211.

The Representation of non-Resident Citizens in the Finnish Parliament

Kimmo Makkonen’s research report Is Anyone Representing Non-resident Finnish Citizens in the Legislative Process of Finland? was recently published in Frontiers in Political Science.

Drawing on a text database of parliamentary documents, the article reveals that “the expatriate Finns are a kind of ‘forgotten people’ in the sense of parliamentary representation.” Learn more at https://www.frontiersin.org/articles/10.3389/fpos.2021.627982/full!

Distance and Trust Crucial in Postal Voting

The FACE survey data suggests that adoption of postal voting among Finnish citizens residing abroad is dependent on two different type of factors: On the one hand, voting via post helps to overcome distance between a voter’s residency and the nearest polling station organized by a diplomatic mission (mostly an embassy or a consulate). On the other hand, this way of voting also requires enough trust that the postal service and designated state office will successfully deliver one’s vote all the way to the ballot box, as the result cannot be effectively verified without violating the ballot secrecy. Johanna Peltoniemi and Miroslav Nemčok published a short news article about this topic in Suomen Silta 2/2020, page 7: https://www.lukusali.fi/?p=Suomen%20Silta&i=02da358a-941a-11ea-aeee-00155d64030a.

 

We now invite Finnish citizens abroad to contribute to the research by their thoughts and personal experiences of postal voting. What makes you trust or distrust the Finnish postal voting system? If you have voted, or tried to vote, through postal voting, how did it go? Contact us at votingabroad@helsinki.fi if you’d like to participate!

“Teaser” Now Online

The Journal Siirtolaisuus Migration by the Migration Institute of Finland published a short piece on our project! See page 14-16 (text in Finnish).

https://siirtolaisuusinstituutti.fi/wp-content/uploads/2019/12/siirtolaisuus_migration_4_2019.pdf

Our next publication will a chapter in the Finnish National Election Study (FNES) 2019 that will come out in July.

Stay tuned for more results! They will appear by theme/research problem in various scientific publications, some in Finnish, others in English.