National Police Chief, Pol General Damrongsak Kittiprapas, revealed on Monday that only eight instances of vote-buying have been reported so far, with four cases already being addressed. Additionally, authorities are investigating 21 cases of damaged ballots to determine whether they were intentionally destroyed. The ballots will be handed over to the Election Commission following the completion of the investigation.
Damrongsak expressed his belief that the damaged ballots were not politically motivated, but rather result from drunk voters tearing them or accidental staining caused by individuals dropping their papers while casting votes. Deliberate destruction of ballots is considered a violation of election law.
In an effort to prevent a recurrence of unrest like that experienced during previous elections, the police chief has deployed additional officers to Nonthaburi, Pathum Thani, Samut Prakan, and Ratchaburi. He further noted that no irregularities have been reported in the 20 provinces where electoral competition is most intense, though the police are closely monitoring certain areas where people continue to question the outcomes.
As citizens return to the capital after exercising their voting rights in their hometowns, police officers have been assigned to help ease the traffic jams. Bangkok and nearby cities also experienced significant congestion yesterday due to the record voter turnout.
This election period showcases heightened attention and involvement of the public, which may be seen as a positive move toward transparent and fair elections in the future. However, the responsibility of maintaining order and security lies not only with the authorities, such as the police force, but also with the voters themselves, who play a crucial role in the success of the electoral process.
It is essential for the public to be cautious and vigilant, cooperating with law enforcement to report any suspicious activities or violations of election laws. Ultimately, it is the collective commitment of all stakeholders that will help foster an environment conducive to a democratic voting process, contributing to the legitimacy and integrity of the election results.