Election Results Removed After Media Spot Discrepancies

Redshirt activists protest against alleged voting frauds at the Election Commission on March 27, 2019.

BANGKOK — The Election Commission on Thursday took down its full voting report hours after releasing it to the media, amid growing questions of the results’ numerous discrepancies.

The commission posted the report to the media chat group minutes after an abrupt news conference, in which officials declared the pro-junta party as the most-voted party. However, the report was deleted hours later when reporters discover numerous inconsistent numbers.

Another report was accessible on the commission’s official website Thursday evening but it is unclear whether it is the final, accurate version.

Discrepancies include a difference in raw votes announced by the commission and its official document released later; numbers of voters not matching numbers of ballots used; and total votes awarded to political parties not matching number of ballots declared valid.

Voter turnout was 74.69 percent, higher than the initial report of 65 percent, the commission said, without explaining the hike. Leaders of Pheu Thai and Future Forward parties on Thursday afternoon called upon the Election Commission to clarify that increase.

One reporter asked in the commission’s media chat group why numbers of eligible voters announced by officials before and after the election were not the same.

Official in charge of the chat group did not provide any immediate explanation about the inconsistency nor say if it had replaced the report with a corrected version. But commissioner Krit Urwongse said the discrepancy of voter turnout and ballots used could be due to some voters who registered to vote at polling stations leaving without casting ballots.

Voters typically received ballots and marked them almost immediately after registration.

According to the report available online, the five most-voted parties are Phalang Pracharath (8.4 million votes), Pheu Thai (7.9 million votes), Future Forward (6.2 million votes), Democrats (3.9 million votes) and Bhumjaithai (3.7 million votes).

The document released to the media also left out a party name, later identified as Prachathai Party.

 

There were 2.1 million spoiled ballots in the election, or about 5 percent of the total ballots. About 1.5 percent of voters marked “None of the Above” in their ballots.

The agency said it received about 186 complaints related to voting procedures.

This is the first complete returns of Sunday’s votes. An earlier result released by the Election Commission was based on 95 percent of votes counted.

However, the results will not be endorsed until May 9, the commission said, citing the need to verify the numbers and settle all complaints filed.