Thursday, December 12, 2019

New ballot design contradicts logic for change, says commissioner

Aug 12. 2017
File photo: Election Commissioner Somchai Srisutthiyakorn.
File photo: Election Commissioner Somchai Srisutthiyakorn.
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By The Nation

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A plan to use different numbers from lot drawing to represent MP candidates in each constituency may complicate election logistics and create loopholes for corrupt ballot printing, suggested Election Commissioner Somchai Srisutthiyakorn on Friday.

Up to 350 different ballots may have to be produced, and the central EC office would not be solely responsible for the production, Somchai said.

To keep up with the demand, he said, the central office may have to allocate to provincial offices, but their production standards may be different and that could create flaws and loopholes in the production, he added.

In addition, there should actually be parties' logos on the ballots along with the MP candidates’ running numbers to clearly identify the candidates and their affiliations, he said.

If the new number running system is implemented, using ballots identifying only the MP candidates, with unique numbers not connected to the candidate’s party, then the importance of parties is reduced, Somchai suggested.

And that would go against the new election format’s stated objective – that voters will choose both their desired MPs and parties at once.

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