Improper voting ballot stamps found in Paung Township

November 6, 2020

HURFOM: On October 29, 2020,  voters were found to be using an improper stamp on their election ballots.  The incident took place at Polling Station #1 in Ta Gon Tie village, In Byaung village track, Paung Township, Mon State. 

Some elders voters were casting their advance votes using stamps that did not include the Union Election Commission “UEC” logo. 

23 voters were found to be using  ballots that did not have the UEC logo.  It is not clear if the use of these stamps  was intentional or a printing error. 

Daw Mi Coon Chan, an NLD election candidate from Paung Township, opposed rejecting these ballots  and called on the Paung Township Election Sub-commission to arrange for the implicated voters to re-cast their votes. 

The UEC must take responsibility for the faulty stamps because the UEC is the one who has managed everything about the polling station. Those who came to cast advance votes were all elderly persons. If the UEC rejects their votes, I cant accept it. The UEC must approve their votes (even with the faulty stamps) or they must [allow them] to  cast their vote, said Daw Mi Coon Chan.

The Township Election Sub-commission reported the case to the Mon State Election Sub-commission on November 3.  The Mon State Election Sub-commission will in turn file a report to the UEC, according to U Thet Naing Oo, the Secretary of Thaton District Election Sub-commission.

We didnt know who put the faulty stamp on the ballot and when. We just gave a stamp with the UEC logo. We have four stamps and one of them [did not have the logo], said U Thet Naing Oo.

Even though the incident has been reported to the  UEC, the Negotiation Team of the Paung Township Election Sub-commission decided that ballots with faulty stamps would be declared as rejected votes.

UEC will release their own statement. But we have to follow the law. We can’t take a faulty ballot as an authentic one. If we do so, there will be consequences. Who will take responsibility for that? Thats why we decided to reject those votes, said U Htwe Oo, a member of the Negotiation Team of the Paung Township Election Sub-commission.

According to the Paung Township Election Sub-commission, the township has 98 polling stations and 210,000 eligible voters.

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