Wanted: Volunteer poll monitors for Sunday’s Bangkok election

Bangkok governor candidate posters line Sukhumvit Road in the Phra Khanong area. Photo: Chayanit Itthipongmaetee / Coconuts Bangkok
Bangkok governor candidate posters line Sukhumvit Road in the Phra Khanong area. Photo: Chayanit Itthipongmaetee / Coconuts Bangkok

Whether eligible to vote or not, anyone can take part in the election for Bangkok’s next leader with just a few taps on their smartphone. 

Hundreds of volunteers are wanted for a crowdsourced poll-watching effort to monitor voting in Sunday’s gubernatorial election to bolster confidence and transparency.

Volunteers will get to work at 5pm Sunday – when polls close and counting kicks off – by snapping pictures of the results board posted outside polling stations and updating the current vote tallies at Vote 62

The data will be processed and compared to the vote results from the Election Commission for consistency.

A repeat of a similar effort during the 2019 general election, the campaign is meant to prevent corruption and promote transparency. Volunteers can sign up online

Vote 62 is a crowdsourcing platform created by tech firm Opendream. This year it joined hands with legal reform advocate group iLaw and research group Rocket Media Lab. 

“There are millions of people living in Bangkok, but they do not have the right to vote for the next governor because their residences are registered elsewhere,” said Panudate Vasinwattana, developer of Opendream. “They can participate democratically in the election through Vote 62.”

Despite Bangkok’s population exceeding 10 million, many of its residents hail from outer provinces. Only 4.4 million are entitled to cast ballots, according to election officials.  

On Sunday, more than 6,800 polling stations will be scattered around the capital’s 50 districts. Election observers say that local elections have historically been well-managed and clean.

Some of the marquee candidates are front-runner and former Pheu Thai Party Transport Minister Chadchart Sittipunt, Wiroj Lakkhana-adisorn of the progressive Move Forward Party, former university rector Suchatvee Suwansawat, former fighter pilot Sgn. Ldr. Sita Divariand, former Bangkok deputy governor Sakoltee Phattiyakul, and incumbent Aswin Kwanmuang.

Vote 62 launched in 2019 and is named for Buddhist calendar 2562. Volunteers uploaded 10,288 for the general election that year and made nearly 20,000 updates to the count.

Related

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14 candidates jump into Bangkok governor race

It’s official, Bangkok to vote for governor in two months

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