The polling station Phuket Auditorium, at the government administration center on Tha Kraeng Rd, home of Phuket Provincial Hall, is just one of 22 polling stations set up throughout the Talad Yai subdistrict in Phuket Town, where votes are being cast for candidates contesting for Constituency 1 in the election.
For the first time, Phuket has three seats for Members of Parliament in the House of Representatives up for grabs in a national election.
Governor Narong urged people to exercise their right to vote, noting that it took little to make their mark in the election. After casting their vote, people can go about their day as usual, he said.
In total 377 polling stations have been set up across the island. Voter turnout is hoped to be as high as 80%, but no less than 70%, Orapin Acheevasuk, Director of the Phuket office of the Election Commission of Thailand (ECT Phuket).
So far 798 voters have turned out to cast votes at the Phuket Auditorium polling station, she said.
Voters who turned out appeared to be enthusiastic. There have been no reports of aberrant behaviour, she added.
“The 377 polling stations in Phuket are ready in all aspects to accommodate and facilitate voters, who have been gradually arriving since this morning,” Ms Orapin said.
Polling stations opened to voters at 8am, and will close at 5pm.
“Today the weather is very good. It is not hot and [so far] not crowded,” she said. “The election atmosphere so far has been smooth and there have been no reports of irregularities.“
Ms Orapin said that about 800 to 1,000 people were expected to turn out at each polling station throughout the day.
However, she called for people to try to spread their arrival at polling stations throughout the day to prevent overcrowding when the polls close at 5pm.
Ms Orapin reminded voters that there will be two ballot papers: a green one to select a candidate, and a purple one to vote for the allocation of party list seats.
She also reminded voters, “And don’t take a picture of the ballot or damage it, otherwise it will be a crime.”
Counting of votes cast will begin after the polling stations close at 5pm.
Counting is expected to take three hours, with the unofficial results expected at about 8pm, Ms Orapin said.
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