Chaos election! Election bosses dismiss fears over 300K+ bad ballots

Photo: Election Commission
Photo: Election Commission

Days after claiming it had rectified a problem with about 100 mismarked ballots and guaranteeing it wouldn’t happen again, the Election Commission is again telling people to believe it has fixed a much larger problem less than 48 hours before polls open.

In addition to the 100 erroneous ballots, the postal service brought to light today that it is sitting on more than 300,000 ballots that it cannot read because election workers wrote illegible voter information on them. In response, the commission late Friday insisted that all of the affected ballots cast in early voting last week have been fixed and sent on their way.

Election chief Saewang Boonmee disputed the nature of the problem, chalking it up to some bad data entry, and played down the scope, insisting the illegible ballots counted fewer than 300,000.

About two million people voted this past Sunday, many because they were voting outside of their constituencies. Thailand Post disavowed the problem, saying it was only its job to get all ballots to their respective constituencies in time for Election Day on Sunday.

Failing to do so would risk disenfranchising 300,000 voters, or upward of 15% of people who cast early votes Sunday.

It was just Monday that the commissioners said they had rectified problems with votes cast Sunday in advance voting after poll workers mistakenly marked about 100 ballots with the wrong information.

A Thai PBS reporter today said that there was a much larger problem than 100 ballots, saying election workers did not clearly write necessary details such as the province, district, or 5-digit voting code on a much larger number. The reporter cited a Thailand Post executive who said the problems had not yet been corrected by commission.

It was the commission’s latest self-inflicted blow to public confidence in Thailand’s ability to stage a credible election.

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