New Zealand ballots arrived too late for ‘the draw’, says election commissioner
Election Commission (EC) member Pakorn Mahannop said on Tuesday that the 1,500 or so ballots that arrived from New Zealand can be compared to raffle coupons that have arrived too late and cannot possibly be included in the draw.
“You cannot ask us to count it after the process has already been completed,” the commissioner said in a lecture he was delivering to sub-committees investigating election cases on Tuesday. “That’s why we ruled that they could not be counted. It was not a question of them being valid or invalid.”
The ballots from New Zealand that did not make it to their home constituencies in time to be counted along with other ballots has been salt in the wound for the agency. Already under fire for questionable effectiveness in holding the election, the EC was roasted further for its handling of the problem with the New Zealand ballots.
The public has also been irritated by the unprecedented terms used to describe mishaps, such as “not invalid but uncountable” in the case of these ballots.
Pakorn, however, said that the agency could not rule whether these ballots were voided or not, adding that people will always disagree and this can lead to the entire election being invalidated.