HONOLULU, HAWAII – Finns living in, and visiting, Hawaii had the chance to cast their votes in Finland’s 2012 advanced Presidential election held in Honolulu on Jan. 11 and 12 at 1132 Bishop Street. The voting, organized by the Consulate of Finland, drew both local residents and Finnish vacationers.
Says Hilkka Easterwood, Hawaii resident since 1967, “This is the first time that a Presidential election has been held here in Hawaii. It is wonderful feeling to be able to be a part of this historical event. For me, this opportunity brought back the same feelings of gratitude as when I received my U.S. citizenship. What a celebration!” Easterwood continues, “For each of us – either permanent residents of Hawaii, or visitors to our beautiful state – it is an appreciated opportunity to be able to cast our votes for the future of Finland.”
Fifty percent of the votes are required in order for a candidate to be elected President. If no candidate receives 50 percent or more of the votes, a second round of voting takes place. As none of the eight candidates in the January 22nd election received 50 precent of the votes, a second round of elections will be held on February 5th between the two candidates who received the most votes (Mr. Sauli Niinistö and Mr. Pekka Haavisto). The candidate receiving the most votes in the second round is elected President.
Marja (Magi) Sarvimäki, Associate Professor, Undergraduate Chair, University of Hawaii at Manoa, School of Architecture agrees, saying, ”I was impressed with vacationers taking time out of their precious holidays to come vote. Not to mention those living on the neighbor islands flying over to Oahu for the same reason – pure dedication and an interest for Finland’s future.”
The Consulate of Finland will arrange the second round of advanced voting in Honolulu from 3 p.m. to 6 p.m. on Jan. 25, and 8 a.m. to 10 a.m. on Jan. 26 at 1132 Bishop Street, Suite 1410. Finnish citizens who have reached the age of 18 on the date of the first election are eligible to vote regardless of place of residence. People who have received a polling card are encouraged to bring it. Photo ID must be provided.
For more information on Finland in the United States, please visit: http://finland.org. Information on the President of the Republic of Finland can be found at:http://www.tpk.fi/public/default.aspx?culture=en-US&contentlan=2. Election information is available on the Ministry of Justice’s website: http://www.vaalit.fi/53561.htm.