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Shocking Truth Behind Election Commissioners’ Trips Abroad – Ballots at Risk?

In response to criticisms claiming that six election commissioners had left the country while urgent matters needed addressing regarding the May 14 election, a rebuttal statement was issued to clarify the situation. Posts on social media had labeled these trips as “unnecessary,” “inappropriate,” and a “waste of money.”

Foreign Ministry spokesperson Kanchana Patarachoke explained that the officials who traveled to Australia and New Zealand were on a mission to inspect the system for transporting ballots back to Thailand. Their goal was to ensure timely ballot delivery, avoiding delays like those experienced in the 2019 election.

Officials visiting South Africa, Kenya, and Morocco had a similar mission, as Africa is a vast continent where comprehensive transport is not available in all areas. In addition, these officials were examining solutions to the lack of direct flights from South Africa to Thailand, as mentioned by Kanchana.

Regarding Europe and the United States, officials were tasked with verifying polling station locations and engaging with Thai communities to determine possible obstacles they might encounter when casting their votes. Kanchana emphasized the significant number of Thai nationals residing in both continents.

Furthermore, the officials were working on implementing a system for sending ballots back to Thailand in areas lacking Thai Airways service or experiencing unreliable postal service.

Kanchana also explained that the Election Commission (EC) and Foreign Ministry officials were inspecting the preparation of the Overseas Voting Monitoring System (OVMS) to oversee voting at all embassies and consulate offices. The OVMS can process voting results in real-time, ensuring the voting process outside Thailand is complete as scheduled.

Additionally, the ministry and EC are contemplating the establishment of an i-Vote system, enabling voters to register and cast their ballots online during the next election. In alignment with the policy to propel Thailand towards a fully functional e-government, this system could save both time and traveling expenses for Thais living overseas.

Kanchana noted, “Created with the use of blockchain technology, i-Vote will help Thais register and cast their votes conveniently. Some countries in the ASEAN region and Europe have already adopted this system to improve their voting process.”

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