What happens if you don't vote in local elections

I have a Thai wife, and due to the heavy rains she decided not to vote in the Phuket Provincial Administrative Organization (PPAO) elections last weekend. Will she be able to vote in the next election? What consequences might she face for not voting.

  • Asked on Friday, November 9, 2012 | 10:43 AM
    Michael Coons, Patong

No, she will not lose her right to vote in the next election. However, she does lose some of her rights to participate in local politics.

It is best to contact the nearest district office within seven days of the election day in order for your wife to file the correct form explaining why she was unable to vote in the election.

The Election Commission recognizes the following five reasons allowing a person to not vote:

• Being in an emergency situation and having to travel far away from the district

• Being too ill to vote

• Being elderly and/or handicapped to a capacity that you cannot go out to vote

• Being more than 100km away from the district

• Dealing with an unexpected disaster, such as floods, storms or heavy rainfall

If a person’s reason for not voting falls into one of these categories, the officer will approve the form and the person will not lose any rights to participate in local politics.

If she doesn’t inform the district office within seven days after the election day or if her reason for not voting is not approved, she will lose the following rights:

• The right to object to the appointment or election of subdistrict headman, village headman, local administration council member, MP or Senator.

• The right to register as a candidate for the position of subdistrict headman, village headman, local administration council member, MP or Senator.

However, these rights can be regained by participating in the next local election or national election.

For more information call our office at 076-354692 or 076-215714.

  • Answered on Friday, November 9, 2012 | 10:43 AM
    Preeyaporn Saetun, an officer at the Phuket provincial office of the Election Commission.
Send a letter about this Issue & Answer