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Sunday, May 20, 2012

Advance Voting

Many people have something to do and can’t come on election’s day. For example, the police and army have to work on election’s day as security officers. Teachers and some local people should serve as polling officers. Some businessmen have appointments somewhere out of the province and university students study out of the hometown. Thailand gives a chance for its people to vote in advance. The policy to handling the cases as mentioned above namely advance voting. The advance voting was held on 26th June 2011.

Advance Voting in the front of Pattalung Government office, close to the closing time. The brown car is a transportation for ballot papers and other election results from the district office into the Election Commission of Province, that locates here.

There are 2 kinds of voters who are eligible to vote in Advance Voting. First, people who come from outside of the province, but work in the province. They can vote in the current locations. They are called as non residence voters. Second, people who live and work in the province, but they should leave the province at that day, because of their own schedule. They are called residence voters.
Both of them should register in the sub district office or office districts on 13th-17th June. After the registration, they can check their name and get the invitation that mentions the date and location of the polling sites. The polling sites for non residence usually are only 1 or 2 in each province. But the polling sites for inside residence are available in each district. 
The number of voters in Advance Voting is not big, but the ECT still prepared in good manner. The preparation and the implementation were almost the same like the election’s day. Only the number of voters was small.
However, in some locations occurred some problems. Many people stuck in the queue because many voters came in the same time in the morning. The invitation did not mention the exact time, when they should or could come to the polling sites. The southern provinces people are mostly farmers and fishers. They want to vote as soon as possible and then they continue our business again, like collecting rubber or opening the shops, etc. Some voters confused with the location between non residence PS and residence PS. The other voters complained that actually they wanted to vote in general election on 3rd July, not in advance election and in their own region. Because many of them were registered in advance voting in the last referendum.
Indonesia does not have advance voting.

Note :
  1. The author is International Election Observer in some countries in Asia, incl. Thailand Parliamentary Election, July 2011. In Indonesia, she is the Head of Foreign Affairs Department, member of KIPP Indonesia since 1998.
  2. This article is published in The Global Review, too.

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