Multiple incidents of individuals tearing ballot papers were reported in various provinces during the 2023 general election.
The Royal Thai Police confirmed that around 20 voters nationwide had torn up their ballot papers, with most cases involving elderly individuals who claimed their actions were a result of misunderstanding rather than intentional destruction.
In Hat Yai, Songkhla, a 76-year-old retiree mistakenly tore her Green party-list ballot into two pieces, believing only one ballot was required. Similarly, in Phuket’s Thalang district, a 77-year-old man tore his marked ballot papers under the mistaken belief that he was supposed to do so. His family informed authorities that the man was receiving treatment for an ischemic stroke and was dealing with memory loss.
Udon Thani province meanwhile witnessed two cases of ballot paper tearing. In the first incident, an 84-year-old man suffering from Alzheimer’s disease tore a party-list ballot at a polling station in Nong Wua So district. The second incident occurred in Kut Chap district, where a 61-year-old man tore a purple ballot out of frustration when he could not locate his preferred candidate’s number.
Samut Prakan province also reported two cases of unintentional ballot paper tearing by an 87-year-old woman and an 83-year-old man at separate voting stations. Both individuals, diagnosed with Alzheimer’s disease, accidentally damaged ballot papers. Additionally, in Krabi’s Muang district, a 21-year-old first-time voter mistakenly tore both ballot papers after marking them, assuming that tearing the ballots was the correct procedure.
In Phrae’s Sung Men district, election officials determined that another incident involving a damaged ballot paper was an accident. A 36-year-old individual, presumed to be intoxicated, fell inside a polling booth, resulting in unintentional damage to one of the ballot papers. (NNT)