One-Third of Eligible Votes in Mon State Cast in Advance of Election

Saturday, November 7, 2020

One-third of all eligible voters in Mon State have cast their ballots ahead of the general election on November 8, the state’s election commission reported.

There are more than 1.84 million eligible voters in Mon State; more than 1.2 million who have not already cast advance votes will be able to vote in person at polling stations on Sunday.

“If we deduct the advance votes, the number of people decreases at the polling stations,” Hein Lin Htet, secretary of the Mon State Election Commission, told NMG.

He said that advance voters were largely people living abroad—around 200,000—or people over the age of 60—400,000.

Win Maw Oo, a spokesperson for the Union Solidarity and Development Party in Mon State, said he was concerned about the security of the ballot boxes containing the advance votes.

“We don’t know the exact process of how ballot boxes are kept safe. We have questions about whether this is a free and fair election,” he told NMG.

Independent candidate in Mon State Aung Naing Win said he is worried that questions about fraud and irregularities around early voting could create conflict after Burma’s general election.

“We want the election commission to make sure things are just and fair. The current situation seems to favor stronger parties. That’s why we are so worried about it,” Aung Naing Win said.

In Burma’s last general election in 2015, just 700,000 of 1.5 million eligible voters in Mon State voted at the polling stations. Some 54,000 voted in advance.

In 2010’s election, there were 1 million eligible voters, and 600,000 voted on election day. More than 50,000 voted in advance.