The Election Commission says the reason why it is producing millions more ballots than the number of eligible voters for the July 3 election is because it has to cater to advance voting.
EC deputy secretary-general Boonyakiat Rakchartcharoen yesterday said that although there were only 47.3 million eligible voters in Thailand, the commission ordered 53.5 million ballots to be produced for the party-list system because it had to prepare ballots for advance voting on June 26 as well.
He was responding to the Pheu Thai Party’s query as to why the EC was producing what it viewed to be an excessive number of ballots.
Mr Boonyakiat said the EC needed to set aside surplus ballots equal to 10% of the number of eligible voters for the advance voting. For the July 3 election, the EC would need ballots equal to the number of all eligible voters.
The EC could not afford to wait and see the advance voter turnout and then order ballots for the actual election day. The ballots would then not be produced in time, he said.
The EC also could not order an equivalent amount of ballots to the voter turnout in the last election, as some political parties have suggested. This is only a national average and the turnout is different at each polling station.
The EC yesterday led members of the press on an inspection of its ballot production at the printing house of the Government Lottery Office on Ekamai Road in Bangkok following the question raised by the Pheu Thai Party.
Thirachai Wuthitham, spokesman of Pheu Thai’s anti-electoral fraud centre, said yesterday his party asked the EC to reduce the number of ballots being produced to prevent a recurrence of the problem seen in the 2007 general election.
He said too many ballots were printed for the 2007 election and a number were found destroyed afterwards. He said his party could not think of any logical reason for printing so many ballots.
Full Article: Bangkok Post : EC prints extra ballot papers.