According to the Election Commission (EC), 2,235,830 people registered for early voting nationwide yesterday ahead of the kingdom’s May 14 election.
Bangkok governor Chadchart Sittipunt said everything ran smoothly with only minor problems reported at polling stations, such as at Ramkhamhaeng University where some voters fainted due to the hot weather.
Water trucks were brought in to spray water to bring down the temperature in the area, he said.
Mr Chadchart added that more than 40,000 people had been expected to turn up for advance voting at Siam Paragon shopping mall and that process went smoothly due to efficient management, reports the Bangkok Post.
He said City Hall will ensure ballot boxes are well-kept and guarded, and an online surveillance system has been installed to keep an eye on them.
A total of 52,771 people were registered for early voting at Ramkhamhaeng University, with long lines of people waiting to cast ballots under the blazing sun.
However, one voter, who asked not to be named, said there were not enough officials on duty to handle the large turnout and there had been a long wait.
In Ayutthaya, a total of 41,421 people, mostly workers at industrial factories in the province, as well as residents from the North, Northeast and Bangkok, had registered to attend.
In Nakhon Ratchasima, a total of 44,195 had signed up to vote in 16 constituencies.
More than half, or 22,842, turned up for voting for the first constituency at Central Plaza shopping mall in Muang district.
In Yala, 9,021 were eligible for advance voting both from outside their constituencies and at local polling stations.
Meanwhile, in Khon Kaen, a group of villagers from Muang district filed a petition with the provincial election committee yesteday, accusing a Pheu Thai Party candidate of vote-buying.
The Ban Non Ruang residents were accompanied by Pongsak Songnok, the village headman, and a lawyer, when they submitted the petition to Vachara Seesarn, director of the office of the Khon Kaen election committee.
Photos and video clips of money being handed over to attendees of a speech by a Pheu Thai candidate at a local rally were given to Mr Vachara as evidence.
After the petition was accepted, investigators at the Khon Kaen election office immediately took the group to an investigation room for private questioning. Mr Pongsak said he travelled along to offer moral support.
EC secretary-general Sawaeng Boonmee said the EC has received 92 complaints of election law violations, most of which had arisen in Bangkok and involved vote-buying, he said.
Mr Sawaeng said the unusually high number of people who had registered to vote in advance in Yasothon and Amnat Charoen had also raised eyebrows, and the EC is investigating the matter.
He added that ballots cast by overseas voters have already been sent in by 68 Thai consulates, while the other 26 consulates are expected to send ballot boxes in the next 3-5 days.
Mr Sawaeng also said officials at a Nonthaburi advance polling station wrote incorrect details about the constituencies and provinces of voters on parcels of used ballots.
The mistakes were found after about 100 people had cast their votes there.
After learning of the errors, election officials corrected them and there would not be any problems with the vote counts in constituencies and provinces on election day, Mr Sawaeng said.
“I confirm that the used ballots will be sent to their respective constituencies. The incident was the fault of our officials. An investigation will determine if these were honest mistakes,” he said.
Social media users expressed their frustration over the mistakes.
Many people demanded legal action against election commissioners, including their impeachment.
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