The Ministry of Justice is funding a voter survey in conjunction with the County elections in January 2022. The elections, which are the first of their kind in Finland, are conducted to elect a county council for each of the newly founded wellbeing services counties.
The County election resembles an ordinary municipality election, but the region that is covered is larger and the political issues concern mainly health, social and rescue services.
Professor Åsa von Schoultz, chair of the Finnish National Election Study Consortium, concludes that elections are a key component in our democratic system, and that there are several questions of particular interest in this election.
– We are certainly interested in opinions about the recent reform of health, social and rescue services. Do citizens have confidence in the ability of the new counties to provide better services than before? There is also speculation that voter turnout will be low. For this reason, it is also important to examine why citizens decide to vote, or why they lack the motivation to do so.
Invitation to a random sample
The invitation to participate in the survey will be sent out to a random sample of residents eligible to vote. Those who accept the invitation will receive the questionnaire by mail. The questionnaire can be answered either on paper or online.
– We are not only interested in those who are interested in politics and decide to vote, but hope that anyone, regardless of background, knowledge or interest, feels motivated to participate in the survey, says Åsa von Schoultz.
Report at the end of the year
The results of the survey will be published in a report from The Ministry of Justice during the autumn of 2022. Following the report, the collected data will be made available through The Finnish Social Science Data Archive FSD.
– This is a new and unknown election, which makes it particularly exciting for us election researchers, and perhaps for the citizens too, says Åsa von Schoultz. It is important to examine how the voters reason about their vote choice and how they view both the election and the issues at hand.