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Why so many?

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The Phue Thai Party is asking the Election Commission why it is printing 53 million ballots when there are only 47 million eligible voters in the country.

Election commissioner Prapun Naigowit leads reporters on an inspection of the packaging of ballots at the Government Lottery Office’s printing house on Ekamai Road in Bangkok yesterday. APICHIT JINAKUL

Note: There is a lot of basic election-related vocabulary in this story that you will see again and again in the coming weeks. For a longer list, click here: http://bit.ly/jxSPGW


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EC prints extra ballot papers

MONGKOL BANGPRAPA
AEKARACH SATTABURUTH

The Election Commission says the reason why it is producing millions more ballots than the number of eligible voters for the July 3 election is because it has to cater to advance voting.

EC deputy secretary-general Boonyakiat Rakchartcharoen yesterday said that although there were only 47.3 million eligible voters in Thailand, the commission ordered 53.5 million ballots to be produced for the party-list system because it had to prepare ballots for advance voting on June 26 as well.

He was responding to the Pheu Thai Party’s query as to why the EC was producing what it viewed to be an excessive number of ballots.

Mr Boonyakiat said the EC needed to set aside surplus ballots equal to 10% of the number of eligible voters for the advance voting. For the July 3 election, the EC would need ballots equal to the number of all eligible voters.

The EC could not afford to wait and see the advance voter turnout and then order ballots for the actual election day. The ballots would then not be produced in time, he said.

The EC also could not order an equivalent amount of ballots to the voter turnout in the last election, as some political parties have suggested. This is only a national average and the turnout is different at each polling station.

The EC yesterday led members of the press on an inspection of its ballot production at the printing house of the Government Lottery Office on Ekamai Road in Bangkok following the question raised by the Pheu Thai Party.

Thirachai Wuthitham, spokesman of Pheu Thai’s anti-electoral fraud centre, said yesterday his party asked the EC to reduce the number of ballots being produced to prevent a recurrence of the problem seen in the 2007 general election.

He said too many ballots were printed for the 2007 election and a number were found destroyed afterwards. He said his party could not think of any logical reason for printing so many ballots.

As for the ballots for the constituency system, a separate printing house is used. The new director of the printing house used to be a deputy district chief in Buri Ram, he said. The province is the main bastion of the Democrats’ key coalition partner in the last government, the Bhumjaithai Party.

Mr Thirachai added that the director previously headed the financial division of the Department of Provincial Administration but is being investigated for alleged irregularities in a computer procurement project.

Mr Thirachai said Pheu Thai Party wondered if a certain party was trying to intervene in the printing of ballots.

Meanwhile, Pol Gen Pracha Promnok, the head of Pheu Thai’s anti-electoral fraud centre, warned the EC there could be many bogus voters in the election.

inspection – the act of looking closely at something or someone and to check that everything is as it should be; examination การตรวจสอบอย่างละเอียด
package – to put something into a box, bag, etc. to be sold or transported ห่อ
ballot – the piece of paper on which someone marks who they are voting for บัตรเลือกตั้ง
eligible voters – people who have the right to vote in an election ผู้มีสิทธิ์เลือกตั้ง
cater to – to try to satisfy a need จัดหามาเพื่อคนใดคนหนึ่งหรือคนกลุ่มหนึ่ง
advance – before the time that is expected; before something happens ล่วงหน้า
deputy – a person whose rank is immediately below that of the leader of an organisation รอง
party-list system – a system that gives each party in an election a number of seats in relation to the number of votes its candidates receive ระบบสัดส่วน, ระบบปาร์ตี้ลิสต์
respond – to say or do something as a reaction to something that has been said or done ตอบสนอง, ตอบรับ
query – a question คำถาม
excessive – much greater than is usual; too much of something   มากเกินปริมาณที่พอดี
surplus – more than is needed เหลือเกิน, ส่วนที่เกิน
can’t afford to – to not be able to do something because it will cause problems for you if you do ไม่สามารถที่จะ
turnout – the number or percentage of eligible voters who vote in an election จำนวนผู้ออกมาลงคะแนน
equivalent – the same as   เท่าเทียมกันกับ
suggest – to show that something is possibly true ชวนคิด
average – an amount calculated by adding several amounts together, finding a total, and dividing the total by the number of amounts เฉลี่ย, ค่าเฉลี่ย
polling station – the place where people vote in an election หน่วยเลือกตั้ง
raise (the question, issue, etc.) – to bring up a subject for discussion ยกขึ้นมาเป็นประเด็น
election fraud – the crime of cheating in an election  การโกงการเลือกตั้ง
reduce – to make something smaller or less in amount, size, importance etc ลดลง
recurrence – something that happens again การเกิดขึ้นอีก,การกลับมาอีก
logical – following or able to follow the rules of logic in which ideas or facts are based on other true ideas or facts มีเหตุผล, ตามเหตุผล
constituency – a district that elects its own representative to parliament เขตเลือกตั้ง
separate – different; not connected ซึ่งไม่เชื่อมกัน
bastion – stronghold;  an area where there is a lot of support for a political party  ฐานเสียง, ฐานที่มั่น, ขุมกำลัง
key – most important  ที่สำคัญ
coalition partner – a political party that has joined with another to form a government พรรคร่วมรัฐบาล
investigate – to try to find out the facts about something in order to learn the truth about it ตรวจสอบหาความจริง
alleged – claimed to be true although not yet proven ที่ถูกกล่าวหา
irregularity – a situation in which the rules, laws, or usual ways of doing things have not been followed การปฏิบัติที่ไม่เป็นไปตามระเบียบปกติ
procurement – the process of buying supplies or equipment for a government department or company การจัดซื้อวัสดุ เครื่องมือสำหรับบริษัท หรือหน่วยงานของรัฐ
intervene – to become involved in a situation in order to try to stop or change it  แทรกแซง
meanwhile – at the same time ในเวลาเดียวกัน
bogus – not real, although pretending to be real — ปลอม, เทียม

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