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BANGKOK 18 April 2019 23:16
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webfact

Confusion, shaky hands of drunks result in spoiled ballots

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Confusion, shaky hands of drunks result in spoiled ballots

By Suriya Patathayo 
The Nation 

 

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MORE THAN 70 voters spoiled their ballots at polling stations across the country yesterday, some out of ignorance, others because they were under the influence of alcohol.

 

An 83-year-old woman in Nakhon Si Thammarat claimed she thought she had to deliberately destroy her ballot because she’d ticked the wrong party number. 

 

“She actually asked the officials for a new ballot,” Deputy National Police Commissioner Pol Lt-General Srivara Ransibrahmanakul said. Voters are allowed only one.

 

Srivara said that, in another case, a man thought he was supposed to tear the ballot along its folding lines. 

 

“Police have already pressed charges against some people, but the Election Commission is handling most of these cases,” he said. 

 

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In Samut Sakhon, a reportedly inebriated Sukul Chunting, 52, was charged with deliberately spoiling his ballot. If found guilty, he could be jailed for up to five years or fined up to Bt100,000, as well as lose his voting rights for 10 years.

 

Sukul denied he intentionally damaged the ballot. “My hands were shaking so heavily when I opened the ballot that I accidentally tore it,” he said. 

 

He was subjected to a blood test, which allegedly found his alcohol level to be quite high. Police claim he admitted that he began drinking at 5pm on Saturday and continued through the night. 

 

Lt-General Srivara said people with records of mental disorder were involved in some instances of torn ballots. 

 

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Otherwise, he said, the first election since the 2014 proceeded smoothly without disturbance. No violence was reported at any polling station, even in the insurgency-plagued southern border provinces. 

 

Nor were there any reports of political rallies being illegally held in the immediate run-up to the election, he said. The Royal Thai Police were prepared to respond swiftly if any prohibited activity took place. 

 

“If political rallying takes place or there’s any disturbance, we will act fast,” Srivara said at midday yesterday. “There are sufficient facilities to detain anyone arrested, even if their numbers are in the tens of thousands.”

 

He said there were four complaints of vote buying, one about vote selling, six about violation of the prohibition on sale of alcohol, and seven complaints about voters taking photographs of marked ballots. 

 

“There is also a complaint against a police officer over a lack of [political] neutrality,” Srivara said. 

 

Srivara said the Technology Crime Suppression Division was monitoring the internet, alert for hashtags that might signal violations of the lese majeste laws and for betting on the election outcome. 

 

Source: http://www.nationmultimedia.com/detail/politics/30366480

 

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-- © Copyright The Nation 2019-03-25

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4 hours ago, webfact said:

He was subjected to a blood test, which allegedly found his alcohol level to be quite high. Police claim he admitted that he began drinking at 5pm on Saturday and continued through the night. 

How can this be?

Alcohol sale was prohibited to ensure this was not possible... wasn't it

  • Haha 1

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8 hours ago, webfact said:

He was subjected to a blood test, which allegedly found his alcohol level to be quite high. Police claim he admitted that he began drinking at 5pm on Saturday and continued through the night. 

 

Ah !!!! I understand now.........The translation regarding the alcohol ban was all mixed up. We foreigners thought there was a ban on selling alcohol from 6p.m. on Saturday until 6 p.m. on Sunday, when, in fact, what should have been happening is we should all have been drinking between those times ...................:tongue: 

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8 hours ago, webfact said:

In Samut Sakhon, a reportedly inebriated Sukul Chunting, 52, was charged with deliberately spoiling his ballot. If found guilty, he could be jailed for up to five years or fined up to Bt100,000, as well as lose his voting rights for 10 years.

I would not worry too much about the last bit. If, or should I say when Prayut gets in there will probably be no voting for the next ten years......

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Some are illiterate so they can't read or understand instructions, others are alcoholics and while alcohol sales are restricted, alcohol consumption of previously purchased alcohol is not. Penalties, of course, are way out of whack with reality and do nothing to help or promote the democratic process. 

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Posted (edited)

Whilst these ballot box mishaps happened 1 million Thais rode a motorbike to the booth without a helmet or a licence.

Edited by ronrat

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