Eligible Thai voters in foreign countries wanting to exercise their rights in advance voting for the upcoming general election may now register to vote, according to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs.
Registration for overseas voting is taking place from 25 March to 9 April 2023. In its weekly press briefing on 29 March, the ministry explained that overseas Thais may register to vote through two channels: (1) go to a website (URL: https://stat.bora.dopa.go.th/Election/popout), with one’s national ID card (including expiry ones) and a valid passport; or (2) contact a Royal Thai Embassy or Consulate in person, by post, by facsimile, or by authorized person.
As of 28 March 2023, a total of 24,005 Thais have registered, with the five highest numbers of voters from Australia, the United States, the United Kingdom, Japan, and Germany.
In the 2019 general election, a total of 119,313 Thais registered for overseas voting, with the 10 highest numbers of voters from Australia (16,000 voters), China, the United Kingdom, Japan, Germany, Malaysia, Singapore, the Republic of Korea, and France. The total number of voters is expected to be higher this time.
The Ministry of Foreign Affairs has conducted training for the staff of embassies and consulates, with speakers from the Election Commission of Thailand (ECT) to provide relevant information and inform them on operating procedures. It has also developed the Overseas Voting Monitoring System to keep track of the latest progress in order to ensure smooth and transparent arrangements.
The method of voting, such as on-site polling booths, by post, or mobile units, will be determined by the embassies and consulates, according to the local context of each country, to enable voters to cast their ballots with the least difficulty. Considering related regulations and other factors, all ballots must be counted in Thailand.
Regulations clearly specify that overseas advance voting must take place between 24 April and 5 May 2023. The ECT has set Sunday, 14 May 2023, as the date for the next general election in Thailand, following the dissolution of the House of Representatives, which took effect on 20 March 2023. (PRD)