HS in Nauvo | A handful of voters live in the middle of the frozen sea – Here, election secrecy is ensured by turning your head

There are five connecting boat routes in the Turku archipelago, where you can cast your early vote on the election ship. HS traveled a long day on the northern route of Nauvo aboard the connecting vessel Innamo.

Liaison vessel Innamo plowed boulders in the ice-covered Archipelago Sea on Wednesday. However, the noise of the ice rattling against the ship's structures does not hinder early voting in the second round of the presidential election, as the ballots are filled out on the election ship while the ship is still on the shore.

In the Turku archipelago, it has traditionally been possible to vote in advance on a few connecting ferry routes. There are boat voting routes in the Parainte and Kemiönsaari archipelagos. Voting is done during the normal operation of the connecting vessel, but the vessel stays in the islands long enough for everyone who wishes to vote.

Election officials Göran Lindqvist (left) and Pekka Alho are preparing for advance voting on board Innamo.

Election officer Pekka Alho looks away, while Janita Aro, who works on Seili island, votes in the background.

Early voting for the second round of the presidential election started on Wednesday. The connection vessel Innamo stopped at five islands, from all of which people came on board to cast their preliminary vote.

I sailed get on board from the island Risto Uusitalo, Tuija Töyräs and Petri Kinnunen. The trio habitually queue up to the election officials in turn, scribble their candidate's number on a piece of paper and slip it into the envelope.

“It's so nice when the booth comes to your own beach,” Uusitalo rejoices.

When the vote is given, the trio rushes to the beach to the lunch basket. Töyräs has boiled a thermos bottle full of coffee and baked runeberg tarts.

“Democracy works. Everything has been taken into account from start to finish,” Töyräs praises.

People who work on the island also take part in the Seilikai election coffee Janita Aro.

“This ship voting is an important service. However, so many people live or stay on the islands all year round.”

Risto Uusitalo and Tuija Töyräs, who live on the island of Seili, say that democracy works when everyone is given the opportunity to vote regardless of the circumstances.

Passing through ice floes rattles the ship's structures. The warm weather that has prevailed now has softened the hard lumps into slush and the sound has softened as a result.

Liaison vessel The election officials who boarded Innamo Goran Lindqvist and Pekka Alho have prepared for a long election day. We are only at home when it has already been dark for hours.

Hot coffee is waiting in the thermos bottle. There are cheese-meat sausage rye breads, rice pies and boiled eggs in plastic containers.

Innamo is the archipelago's newest connection vessel, only commissioned last year. However, according to Lindqvist and Alho, the otherwise good ship has one major flaw. There is no first table in the cabin. Election materials must be spread over the refrigerators.

“We don't have a voting booth. We also can't use cardboard blinds because there are no tables. But it is not an insurmountable problem, then it will be applied”, says Alho.

It is not a problem for the voters either. Living on the island of Åvensor Saila Routio says he trusts that people will tactfully look away when the moment is right.

And so it happens.

12 people from the island of Åvensor voted.

Saila Routio, who lives in Åvensori, is not bothered by the lack of a voting booth. He says he hopes people will look elsewhere.

Åvensor from the island, it is about a two-hour ferry ride to the port of Nauvo. If the connecting ship did not bring the possibility of early voting to the home shore, the islanders would have to travel for several hours to the ballot box in the church village, with waiting times.

On the actual election day, a round trip would not even be possible. The connecting vessel does not operate two trips.

“From some of the islands in the archipelago, you can't make a round trip, you have to spend the night. It would take two days to do the job,” says Alho.

So it's no wonder that the islanders use the services of the election ship diligently. Even now, 12 people from Åvensor have arrived to vote on the beach of their own island. It is approximately the same as the number of year-round residents on the island.

“It is really obvious to me that I will vote. As a woman, I would gladly vote for a woman, but now that is not possible,” says Routio.

He says he chooses his candidate based on experience and actions.

“This is not about electing a king, but a servant who is in the people's business. For me, the most decisive thing is who will be the best servant of the Finnish people. “

A small rowing boat waits for spring next to the ice channel made by the connecting ship.

Jari Tattari, the deckhand of the liaison ship Innamo, said that they stay on each island long enough that all those who want to have been able to vote. The man himself went to vote.

Also Katriina Mäkinen waiting for his turn to vote. His spouse slipped out of line and went to the deck of the ship to massage the clap shops. Mäkinen voices his concern, because the indicative time window given for the vote has already expired.

“Where is the boundary of the election apartment? If he has already boarded the ship, is he already in the election apartment?”

However, everyone had time to vote, Mäkinen's spouse was the last before the ship leaves the pier again. Instead of election coffees, the couple heads to the election sauna.

“Now the vote has been taken. All that one man can do has been done. Now we go to the election sauna. We already carried the water.”

Voting the connection ship is quite slow. The election officials blame it on sea conditions.

“We do everything by hand and with paperwork, because computers don't work here,” says Lindqvist.

However, there is no information about queues on Innamo Island. Only one person from the shore steps into the boat of the Innamo connection ship, which bears the name of the island. Voter turnout in Innamo is still 100% because Auli Pihlhjerta says that he is currently alone on the island.

“My choice was clear. I want to live in international Finland. I hope the president takes on the Kultaranta 8, even though it is a really ugly boat. Because he could come and see how people live in the archipelago.”

Memoirs take the president Urho Kekkonen for times. Kekkonen was a diligent traveler of the archipelago who knew the local hosts and the best fishing waters. His Kultaranta boats at that time were familiar sights on the archipelago's boat lanes and fishy coves.

Auli Pihlhjerta, who lives on the island of Innamo, came to vote and waved a greeting to his friends who traveled in the ship's cabin.

Auli Pihlhjerta received voting instructions from election official Göran Lindqvist.

Järvsorin good-natured residents board the island. Voting is an important event, as is the beeping of a connecting ship on the home shore.

Birgitta Bergman has lived on the island of Järvsori for 39 years.

“It has been many years since I voted anywhere other than on a ship. This is the easiest for me. All you have to do is go to the beach.”

Birgitta Bergman, who came aboard from the island of Järvsori, has practically always voted on the connecting ship. He doesn't even remember when he last voted somewhere else.

Nils-Erik Bergman drove his passing game directly to the deck of the connecting ship and went to vote. On the island of Järvsori, as elsewhere, the roads are dangerously slippery in this weather.

Masknamon a mother and son come to the ballot box from the island Teija and Ville Pettersson.

Ville Pettersson hopes that the new president will learn from the president Sauli from Niinistö.

“We need a good leader for Finland. Party matters to me, at least now when you think about these two candidates. We are living in such difficult times that it will demand a lot from the new president.”

After the vote, Ville Pettersson says he will return to continue the woodwork. Teija Pettersson, on the other hand, says that she is heading to Höyhensaari.

“I'm going to the polling stations. I fiddle for half an hour. It's so wonderful to take naps now that I'm retired.”

Ville Pettersson watches closely how election official Göran Lindqvist stamps his ballot.

Ville and Teija Pettersson, son and mother, came to vote from Maskinnamo Island. Teija Pettersson is not going to drink election coffee, but is heading to take an election day nap instead.

In the liaison ship there are still a couple of people. Lives in Kauniainen Aleksi Massinen has spent his free time at his friend's cottage in Åvensor. Now he is on his way back to Nauvoo and at the same time exercising his right to vote.

In selecting his candidate, he used the exclusion technique.

“I really hope that the new president would continue the same line as Niinistö. Niinistö has had something that unites the people. He has also been able to be quite neutral without being gray.”

The man remembered his first experience of voting on a contact ship as a positive experience.

“After all, this is a pretty special experience. Especially now that this interview came up”, the man laughs.

Aleksi Massinen from Kauniain was visiting his friend's cabin in Åvensori and on the way back he was able to vote for the first time in his life on a connecting ship. The experience was memorable.

Contact ships are the life threads of the islanders and the most important services in terms of living on the island. The ships are mostly free of charge for non-islanders as well. Anyone can go aboard the larger ships, even on a winter trip, and also vote in advance if they wish.

Early voting only works on predetermined days and the election routes are long. In addition to your own snacks, you have to reserve several hours for the trip.

Wednesday's early voting on the connection vessel Innamo collected a total of 28 early votes from five different islands.

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