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A Phuket voter casts her ballot: others say they have missed out

Phuket Voting Flaw 'Could Impact Election'

Sunday, July 3, 2011
PHUKET: A leading election official on Phuket has warned of an emerging trend on Phuket that could have a disturbing effect on the general election outcome, both on the island and nationwide.

Phuket Election Committee Director Kittipong Tengkunakit says that ''a lot'' of voters are complaining that their transfer papers to register and vote on Phuket have not been put into effect.

''If this problem is reflected around the country, about two million people could be deprived of a vote,'' Khun Kittipong told Phuketwan.

He said scores of people attempting to vote on Phuket had become angry when they found that they could not cast a ballot this morning.

Phuket's tourism industry attracts many workers from other provinces, and some of those workers neglect to officially transfer their registration as voters to Phuket.

But Khun Kittipong said that the people who were complaining today all insisted that they had gone through the process of transferring their registration to Phuket.

''There is nothing we can do for them immediately,'' Khun Kittipong said. ''All that officials at the polling booths can say to these people is: 'Please stay calm.'

''Their frustration at missing out on a vote in a national election is understandable.''

Khun Kittipong said that all information recorded on voting registration was held by the Interior Ministry. The last national election was in April 2006.

He said other voters who believed they were now registered on Phuket should not be dissuaded from casting a ballot.

Voters from provinces other than Phuket who had not changed their registration to Phuket in time for today's vote were able to cast their ballots on Phuket last Sunday. It was the same around the country.

Khun Kittipong also apologised to a Phuketwan photojournalist who was prohibited from taking photos at one Phuket polling booth and made to remove all shots from his camera.

''The official is misinterpreting the rules,'' Khun Kittipong said. ''The media can cover this election openly, and journalists known they can't take photos depicting how individuals vote.''

Phuket Governor Tri Augkaradacha was at a polling booth early today, urging Phuket voters to turn out early to avoid crowds and possible rain.

Governor Tri said there were three allegations of vote-buying where charges had been laid, but 60 to 70 hearsay accounts of vote-buying on the island. At least two of the three people accused of vote-buying have strongly denied the allegations.

Phuket's polling booths close at 3pm, when the count begins nationwide. Officials say results should become apparent before 10pm.
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"Only in Phuket!"

Posted by sky on July 3, 2011 16:34


Tuesday September 24, 2019
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