August referendum voter lists remain under threat

Voter lists for the August referendum face more epic and absurd struggles with dogs packs and a teenager who burned the list to repel mosquitoes. Meanwhile, some voters cannot check their names on the list due to excessively high security measures. 
 

Dogs tear down voter lists

 
After suffering from kids, monkeys, and heavy rain last weekend, voter lists for the August charter draft referendum have been again spoiled for a series of absurd reasons. Animals in Thailand have again shown their interest in the August referendum. In addition to monkeys, dogs are playing around with the voter lists.
 
On Wednesday, 27 July 2016, local authorities in the northeastern province of Chaiyaphum investigated a polling place in Huai Bong Subdistrict after they received a report that voter lists in the polling place had been spoiled and stolen during the past couple days, reported Matichon Online.  
 
After an investigation, Inta Phuangchan, the village headman, said that the voter lists were spoiled after recent heavy rains blew down the board with the voter lists and a pack of dogs living nearby took off with them.
 
According to Matichon Online, a primary school student also took away the lists which were scattered on the ground when she was looking for paper to do her homework and thought that they were scrap. Some villagers who passed by the polling place helped clean the area by throwing the scattered sheets into trash bins without realizing that the sheets were actually the referendum voter list.
 
 
Dogs at the polling station(source: Innews)
 

Teeager uses voter list as mosquito-repellent

 
On Monday, 25 July 2016, police officers in the northeastern province of Khon Kaen arrested Ek (pseudonym), a 16-year-old vocational student, for destroying voter lists at a local polling place for the August referendum, reported Matichon Online   
 
“The suspect confessed that he rode his motorcycle to the polling place to wait for his girlfriend. While he was waiting, there were a lot of mosquitoes due to the heavy rain so he tore down the voter lists and burned them to repel the mosquitoes. He didn’t know that they were important official documents,” said Pol Lt Gen Boonlert Jaipradit, Police Region 4 Commander. 
 
According to Matichon Online, the Commander added that local Election Commission of Thailand (ECT) officials had already filed a complaint against the suspect for disrupting an ECT operation, which is a breach of Article 59 of the Referendum Act. The suspect was also accused of destroying public property and official documents. 
 
 
 
(Left)  Pol Lt Gen Bunleot Chaipraseot (right) Ake (source: Matichon Online)
 

Polling place locked out

 
On Friday, 29 July 2016, Matichon Online reported  villagers in the southern province of Satun were unable to check their names on the voter lists as the local authorities had locked the polling station to protect the lists.
 
Yusop Saengkaew, a villager, told the media that he had visited the polling place three times to check whether his name was on the list or not. He did not understand why the authorities had to lock a place like this, and he just wanted to make sure that his name is on the list so he could contact ECT authorities to fix the problem if necessary.  
 
 
A dissapointed voter at the locked up polling station (source: Matichon Online
 

Keep voter lists away from children, and voters

 
After voter lists across the country were repeatedly spoiled by kids, local ECT officials in the southern province of Trang came up with a brilliant idea. They stuck the voter lists on the upper frames of windows in a polling place so voters must stand on a chair in order to check their name, Matichon Online reported on 28 July 2016.
 
Sunan Nukunrot, a local ECT official, told the media that voters do not clearly understand the referendum process, nor the content of the draft charter due to a lack of proper publicity. But he speculated that about 60 per cent of voters in the area will go to vote on 7 August.
 
 
voters have to stand on a chair to chek thier name (source: Matichon Online)