Allegations of Finnish politician's missing candidacy supporter cards spun as election fraud

By: Emmi Kivi
January 15 2024

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Allegations of Finnish politician's missing candidacy supporter cards spun as election fraud

Screenshots of the viral claims of election fraud amid speculations of misdelivered supporter cards for Finnish politician Paavo Väyrynen. (Source: X/TikTok/Screenshot/Modified by Logically Facts)


The Verdict False

The Finnish Police do not suspect a crime. There is no evidence of missing or misdelivered supporter cards.

Claim ID 141aca3b

Finland will hold its first round of Presidential elections on January 28, 2024. A presidential candidate may be nominated by registered parties with at least one representative elected in the latest parliamentary election. Alternatively, nomination can also be made by constituency associations of at least 20,000 people entitled to vote. 

What is the claim?

On December 27, the constituency association of Finnish politician, Paavo Väyrynen, filed an offense report with the Finnish National Bureau of Investigation (NBI) claiming that a shipment of roughly 200 supporter cards was misdelivered to Estonia through criminal conduct, and further accused a "loss of thousands of supporters cards" due to this incident. The constituency also speculated that the Postal Service had been hacked. To support their claim, the constituency association added images of the tracking website both in Finland and Estonia to show that the shipment was delivered to Estonia. 

Consequently, social media users spun these speculations as evidence of election fraud or crime. Other posts in Finnish suggest that the number of misdelivered supporter cards was 10,000, or imply that without the incident, Väyrynen would have been eligible to be a presidential candidate. 

On January 9, the Helsinki Police Department stated it would not start an investigation because it does not suspect a crime. The Finnish postal service denied the claim that supporter cards had been delivered to Estonia. Further, Logically Facts found no evidence that 10,000 supporter cards were misdelivered.

What we found

On December 21, the official presidential candidate list was confirmed, with nine candidates competing for the position of Finland’s 13th President. Paavo Väyrynen was not a candidate, because his constituency association did not gather enough supporter cards in time.

The Helsinki Police Department handled the case. After a preliminary inquiry into the possibly missing supporter cards, police stated on January 9 that no crime was suspected as there are no concrete facts to support the accusations. The statement concluded that “possible errors by the postal office or a low number of supporter cards do not give reason to suspect that the low number of cards is the result of a crime.”

According to the information received, one of the shipments had an incorrect tracking number. Some of the express parcels posted to the reply address did not arrive and were returned to the sender," stated the head of the police investigation in the police statement.

Moreover, the Finnish postal office denied that the supporter cards had been delivered to Estonia. Anna Bjarland, the Finnish postal service’s Head of Communications told a Finnish newspaper, Iltasanomat: “We checked our distribution system and received confirmation that the shipment was delivered to the correct receiver in Finland on December 20, 2023. This was confirmed also by a conversation with the recipient. The tracking information unfortunately had a mistake in the code due to a human error, also in our international tracking websites” (translated from Finnish). The postal service also denied any hacking. 

Väyrynen made similar claims in his Christmas Day blog post, in which the politician wrote of “a couple of hundred supporter cards” misdelivered to Estonia. Logically Facts found no evidence to that 10,000 cards went missing. 

Logically Facts has reached out to the Finnish postal service for comment. 

The verdict

The Helsinki Police stated it would not start an investigation into alleged missing or misdelivered support cards. The Finnish postal service affirmed the supporter cards were not delivered to Estonia and were received by the correct recipient in Finland. The error in the tracking code was caused by human action. Logically Facts found no other evidence that 10,000 supporter cards went missing. Therefore, we have marked the claim as false.

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