100,000 volunteers to monitor vote count in upcoming election
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100,000 volunteers to monitor vote count in upcoming election

Civil groups plan to deploy at least 100,000 volunteers to observe the upcoming elections and monitor the vote count at polling stations nationwide, according to the Internet Law Reform Dialogue (iLaw) group.

iLaw manager Yingcheep Atchanond said 101 civil organisations have joined hands to monitor the polls with a focus on the vote count after the Election Commission (EC) decided to scrap real-time updates of the vote tallies.

He said the network had urged people to observe the elections at all levels to help promote clean and fair polls.

For this year's general election, the network plans to recruit and deploy at least 100,000 volunteers at more than 90,000 polling units across the country, he said.

Following the EC's decision to cancel live election results, the network formed a partnership with the Thai Startup Trade Association (Thai Startup) to provide live election results on its website, Vote62.com, he said.

Not only will the volunteers observe the vote count in real time but they will also submit vote totals at their polling stations, take pictures of the vote tallies on display and upload them to Vote62.com for processing.

"The website will be open when the election draws near. People can apply as volunteers at polling stations near their homes. There are more than 90,000 polling stations, and we intend to recruit at least 100,000 volunteers.

"They will be recording vote totals. It'll be better if they can livestream the vote count," he said.

Mr Yingcheep also urged the EC to draw up guidelines for the monitoring of the elections at polling stations by independent observers to prevent disputes between observers and election officials.

Somchai Srisutthiyakorn, a former election commissioner, said the EC had scrapped the real-time updates of the vote tallies in the upcoming polls, and the first results to be shared with media outlets are likely to be around 9.30-10pm on election night.

"The method to be used in this year's elections was used in 2001 when the EC was first established. And it is prone to being rigged," he said.

Earlier, EC secretary-general Sawaeng Boonmee said the EC decided to change the way it reported unofficial results to minimise the mistakes it had encountered in the 2019 polls.

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