Fewer people register for voting outside constituency in August referendum

The Election Commission of Thailand has expressed concern after less than 50,000 people registered to vote outside their constituency in the upcoming charter referendum, which is a quarter of the number in the previous referendum.
 
On Wednesday, 22 June 2016, Somchai Srisuthiyakorn, a commissioner of the Election Commission of Thailand (ECT), told the media that only 48,050 people have registered with the ECT to vote outside their home constituency in the August referendum. The deadline for online and postal registration is 30 June and people can register at their local registration offices until 7 July, reported Matichon Online.
 
“The number of people who’ve registered to vote outside their constituency is around 40,000 while the number for the 2010 charter referendum was more than 200,000, which is also a small number,” Matichon Online quoted Somchai as saying. 
 
Somchai told Prachatai that the drop in number is due to the fact that the ECT changed the registration system. Previously, once people registered for voting outside their hometown, their future polling station was automatically their registered constituency. This is why the number of out-of-constituency votes in the 2014 general election was more than 2 million since registrations had been recorded for 18 years. However, from now on, people have to register for every poll, which is known as a set-zero system.       
 
Somchai admitted to Prachatai that many people have not yet been informed about the set-zero system since the ECT has publicized the issue mainly through online channels. However, the ECT will put more effort and resources into the issue. 
 
 
 
Somchai Srisuthiyakorn speaks to the media at the ECT office (source: Matichon Online)