120,000 Thais overseas voters registered to vote in advance

120,000 Thais registered to vote overseas

Original source: Bangkok Post, 22 Feb 2019 at 12:03 9

A hundred thousand Thais have registered to vote from overseas in the March 24 election, led by those residing in Sydney, according to the Foreign Ministry. Registration for overseas voting online and at 94 Thai embassies, consulates and trade and economic offices worldwide took place from Jan 28 to Tuesday.

A total of 119,184 Thais registered to vote, led by those in Sydney (10,256), London (7,926) Tokyo (6,048), Canberra (5,927), Los Angeles (5,668), Singapore (4,763), Kuala Lumpur (4,139) and Washington (4,122).



Original Source: Khaosot

By Jintamas Saksornchai, Staff Reporter -March 11, 2019 2:36 pm

At left, Thais in Malaysia use cardboard boxes to vote Saturday in Kuala Lumpur. Photo: Muhammad Sasu / Facebook. At right, long lines outside the embassy on the same day.

BANGKOK — Election officials are on the defensive after overseas voters complained angrily about a raft of problems including missing ballots, incorrect candidate information and poor voting facilities.

Two weeks before polls open at home, #OverseasVoting was trending atop Thai Twitter on Monday with many comments slamming the Election Commission and diplomatic missions for mismanaging early voting.

“Student body elections at school look more organized than this election,” Twitter user @Litentoyou wrote.

Criticism blew up after a student in China tweeted Saturday about the obstacles to voting, including a ballot that didn’t come until nearly a week after voting began. The student said more than 500 voters registered to vote in Shanghai hadn’t received them at all.

“This election is the most transparent ever,” @TheKopfer wrote, sarcastically.

The Foreign Affairs Ministry said the problems reported in China were due to missing voter contact information, adding that all but five voters in Shanghai had received their ballots by Sunday.

“I [dislike] this commission the most. Salaries so high, but they work sloppily, like children,” @Newthinkkn wrote. “They spent 12 million to study elections in other countries and look what happened.”

Dissatisfaction over widespread reported mishaps fed existing concerns about the commission’s ability to stage a credible election at home in just two weeks. It comes days after it invited scorn by canceling important meetings because six members were traveling abroad at a cost of about 12 million baht.

Muangphum Hansiriphet, who heads a Thai student association in Nanjing, called onlinefor an investigation into problems there. He said that while helping the consulate locate voters, he learned information entered by voters in online registration forms had gone missing or become unreadable when the commission submitted it to the diplomatic mission.

The Thai Embassy in Kuala Lumpur was forced to open Sunday for additional votingbecause it couldn’t accommodate the thousands who turned up the prior day. Many voters complained of waiting for hours and questioned why the commission couldn’t do better despite knowing how many people would vote.

Officials were shown using cardboard boxes to set up makeshift voting booths in photos posted online, reportedly because they didn’t receive enough from the commission, further stoking public outrage.

Without commenting on the cause of the problem, head commissioner Jarungvith Phumma said using a cardboard box was not illegal. He said it just didn’t “look very pleasant.”

He also said the commission was looking into several complaints regarding confusing documents listing candidates and their numbers for voters in London and New York.

Photos of the documents show some of the candidates names and photos did not appear next to their party names. For example, Parit “Itim” Wacharasindhu, who heads the Democrat Party’s youth wing, did not appear next to his party’s name. Instead it appeared above a candidate for the pro-establishment People Progressive Party.

Parit called for the commission to fix the issue because it might confuse voters.

“This error isn’t limited only to me but other candidates from other parties,” he said. “Every vote is valuable. … I hope the Election Commission and other related agencies take responsibility for this case.”

Nearly 82,000 people have registered to vote overseas, according to the commission. The vote is closing on March 16.


Thais in Australia top overseas voter registration 

politics February 20, 2019 14:46

Original Source: By The Nation

Thai expats in Australia are the largest group of overseas voters, with 16,183 registering to vote, reported the Interior Ministry on Wednesday.

A total of 2,752,119 Thai voters have registered to cast ballots either in advance, outside their constituencies or overseas from January 28 to February 19 for the March 24 general election.

Of the number, 2,632,935 are those who want to exercise their ballots outside their constituencies. 

The ministry reported that 119,184 Thais living overseas in 67 countries have registered to vote with 94 Thai diplomatic missions.

In the 2011 general election, 146,133 Thai expats registered to vote overseas and 76,615 or 52.43 per cent cast their ballots. Of the number, Thais in the United States were the largest group of overseas voters, according to the Election Commission.

hais Overseas Begin Voting in First General Election Since Coup

Original source: Bloomberg

By Randy Thanthong-KnightMarch 3, 2019, 7:26 PM PST

  •  People living abroad can cast their ballots from March 4-16
  •  Divisions are flaring again in Thailand ahead of the election

Thais overseas begin voting Monday in the country’s first general electionsince a military coup in 2014.

About 120,000 voters in 67 countries have registered to cast ballots in advance, according to the Election Commission. The biggest proportion, nearly 14 percent, is in Australia, followed by the U.S. with almost 13 percent and China on a little over 9 percent.

Divisions between establishment royalists and backers of exiled former Prime Minister Thaksin Shinawatra are flaring again in Southeast Asia’s second-largest economy ahead of polling day on March 24. A ruling is due Thursday from the Constitutional Court on whether to disband a party linked to Thaksin over a failed bid to nominate a princess as its prime ministerial candidate.

Read More: Rush to Disband Princess-Backed Party Evokes Thai Bloodshed

If the party, Thai Raksa Chart, is broken up, the overseas votes it receives could be void. Thaksin or his allies have won every election since 2001, only to be unseated by the courts or the military.

‘One Vote’

The current stretch of military rule under junta leader Prayuth Chan-Ocha, who is seeking to return as premier after the poll, is one of the longest in Thailand’s modern history.

Thailand's Prime Minister Prayuth Chan-Ocha
Prayuth Chan-OchaPhotographer: Simon Dawson/Bloomberg

“No matter how far we are from Thailand, we don’t take this opportunity for granted,” said Ruangrin Aksharanugraha, a graduate student and overseas voter in southern California, which is thought to have the largest Thai population outside of Thailand. “One vote means a lot to us.”

Overseas voting runs until March 16 and advanced ballots will be cast in Thailand from the following day. More than 2.6 million people have registered to vote in advance.

Provisional results are expected on the night of March 24, but the final certification could take weeks under the military-backed constitution.