The alcohol ban is required under election law, Phuket Election Commission (PEC) Director-General Passakon Siripakayapon explained to The Phuket News.
“Bars and nightclubs can be open, but they must not sell alcohol. Drinking at private homes is allowed, but not for big celebration events,” Mr Passakon said.
“Whoever breaks the election law [by selling alcohol] must face the penalty, which is up to six months in prison or a fine up to B10,000, or both,” he added.
Phuket is home to 12 municipalities: Phuket City, Patong, Kathu, Wichit, Chalong, Rawai, Rassada, Srisoonthorn, Karon, Cherng Talay, Thepkrasattri and Pa Khlok.
The alcohol ban will be in effect in each of 12 municipal areas.
All other provinces in the country will hold their own municipal elections on the same day, and enforce their own alcohol ban for their elections.
More polling stations than in previous elections will be set up in municipal areas across Phuket to help ease congestion, in accordance with COVID-19 precautions, Mr Passakorn noted.
“To also help reduce congestion [at polling stations], voters can easily check their name and the polling stations where they can cast their votes by installing the ‘Smart Vote’ app, which they can check for election law and other information,” he said.
“This way they do not need to wait to have their name checked off the electoral roll as confirmed attending to vote before they actually cast their votes. The app also has information about the candidates running for office in each municipality,” he added.
The polling stations will be open from 8am to 5pm.
The ‘Smart Vote’ app also allows people who are unable to return to the municipal area where they are registered as living in order to vote to be able to electronically file the official form giving their reason for not voting, Mr Passakorn said.
Under Thai election law, people who do not provide an accepted reason for not voting lose privileges in running for public office for two years.
Mr Passakon also expressed his concern about any confusion that may arise among voters over the two forms to be used as ballots.
“The purple one is cast a vote for the position of mayor, and the pink one to vote for councilors,” Mr Passakorn said.
“Voters can enter only one number on the purple ballot, but they can vote for up to six different candidates on the pink ballot,” he explained.
“I have already ordered staff who will be at the polling stations to remind people before they vote,” he said.