Migrant Workers Cast Advance Votes in Northern Thailand

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Migrant workers from Burma living in nine provinces in northern Thailand begin casting advance voting for the 2020 general election at the Myanmar Consulate office in Chiang Mai on Saturday (October 10).

“Workers from Lashio and Mong Kung townships cast their advance votes in the morning. Migrant workers from Monghsu, Namsang and Kehsi townships will vote this afternoon,” Sai Mueng, a Shan youth volunteer in Chiang Mai, told SHAN. “Many people will participate in advance voting at the Myanmar Consulate. Only those that registered with the consulate can vote.”

Voter from Mong Kung
Voter from Mong Kung

“I’m so happy. Although I’m forty, this is the first time I’ve voted,” said Nang Sin, who’s originally from Mong Kung Township, located in southern Shan State. “I’m not an educated person, but I want to fulfill my obligations as a citizen of Burma. It is not really a difficult procedure to vote, even though we were worried about losing our vote.”

Sai Lek, spokesperson for Shan Nationalities League for Democracy (SNLD), told SHAN there’s no need to worry because the names of those who are eligible to vote was announced at Election Commission offices. “When votes are counted, officers will double-check all the names to ensure everyone registered.”   

migrant workers come to vote at Myanmar Consulate at Chiangmai 2
migrant workers come to vote at Myanmar Consulate at Chiangmai 2

There were 357 who voted on October 10. One hundred and seventy-two were from Lashio and Mong Kung townships. And one hundred and eighty-five were from Monghsu, Namsang and Kehsi townships.

Some workers from Mong Nawng Township, located in southern Shan State, remarked about how uncomplicated the voting process was. They told SHAN they felt no pressure from consular staff, and could freely cast their vote.

Over 1,000 workers registered for advance voting in July. They are employed in Chiang Mai, Lamphun, Lampang, Uttaradit, Phrae, Nan, Phayao, Chiang Rai, Mae Hong Son, Nakhon Sawan, Uthai Thani, Kamphaeng Phet, Tak, Sukhothai, Phitsanulok, Phichit and Phetchabun provinces in northern Thailand.

Advance voting in Chiang Mai ends today (October 13).

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