Poll body says it's 'ready' for advance voting

The Election Commission (EC) has affirmed it is ready for advance voting on Sunday, for which about 2.6 million people have registered.

Among them, more than 900,000 will cast advance ballots in Bangkok, 110,000 from overseas and the rest from the provinces.

Equipment required for holding early voting has already been distributed to designated polling stations across the country, EC secretary-general Jarungvith Phumma told media on Friday.

As for voters, it is most important for them to check with the EC's list of verified election candidates before they cast their votes "as a large number of election candidates have been disqualified", said Mr Jarungvith.

All forms of election campaigning are still permitted on the day of the advance vote. However, Nat Laosisawakul, deputy secretary-general of the EC urged candidates and their canvassers to stay away from voting venues.

"They can still hand out leaflets and conduct online electioneering as usual," he said.

However, all types of election campaign activities will be strictly prohibited from 6pm on March 23 until polling stations close, said Mr Nat, adding that alcohol sales will also be banned during the same period.

Public opinion surveys, including those predicting election results and the popularity of candidates, will also be prohibited from tomorrow until after the election, said Mr Nat.

"Polls on voters' expectations are also banned because parties may adopt these as policies which would be regarded as a form of electoral manipulation," he said.

The EC is also prepared to take immediate action against other violations conducted on social media platforms, and he warned voters not to take photos of their ballot with a cross in the box for a certain candidate.

"That particular act could be seen as an attempt to get money in return," said Mr Nat.

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