The high number of invalid ballots cast for constituency candidates resulted from voters marking a cross in the wrong boxes, particularly the boxes of parties which had not fielded candidates in that particular constituency, the Election Commission said. EC secretary-general Suthipol Thaweechaikarn yesterday announced unofficial counts of invalid ballots cast in Sunday’s election.
The counts showed that the total number of invalid ballots cast for constituency candidates accounted for 5.74% of all ballots cast.
Invalid constituency ballots outnumbered invalid ballots cast for party-list candidates, which stood at 4.88%, Mr Suthipol said. The average rate of invalid ballots for both election systems was 4-5% which is not much different from that of the 2007 general election, he said.
In the previous election, invalid ballots cast for constituency candidates were 5.56%, while invalid ballots for party-list candidates accounted for 2.56%.
Mr Suthipol said the number of constituency ballots marked in the “no-vote” box was 4.04% while party-list ballots marked in the no-vote box stood at 2.76%.
The EC has looked into invalid ballots and found there were four major factors contributing to the high invalidity of ballots cast for constituency candidates.
The first factor was that several parties had fielded only party-list candidates, but people voted for them in both party-list and constituency systems. The second factor was that some voters may have favoured parties broadly but not the particular candidates on offer, he said. However, they did not want to register no-votes so they chose to make their ballots invalid.
Another factor was that some disabled or elderly voters marked a cross in the wrong boxes. The last factor was that some voters in the deep South who could not read Thai wrongly marked ballots, Mr Suthipol said.
He dismissed claims by the Pheu Thai Party that the ballot design was unfair because the party’s logo was too small and that ballot papers were coated with plastic film which made it easy to rub off the cross mark, rendering the vote invalid. He insisted no invalid ballots were coated.
Full Article: Bangkok Post : EC reveals invalid votes reached 5%.