A citizen in Karen State who spoke with Burma Election Tracker described authorities' strategy for securing USDP votes through abuse of power, misinformation, and forced voting.
"I knew that the election would be held. I went back home but did not vote because I lost my ID card. I watched voting at polling station for about half an hour. Many people coming to vote had frustrated faces. Some looked scared. There were soldiers, Border Guard Forces (BGF), and Home Guard Forces (HGF) around the polling station while people were casting votes. Polling station was set up at a clinic. Ballot boxes couldn't be seen from outside. There were 4,000 villagers, and at least one per household had to go and cast vote. It was a compulsory. There were seven people in my family - three of us cast votes. We voted for lion party (USDP). My mom said that she did not understand and did as she was told. We had to go to the house of village head before. He said that we had to vote or we would be fined 5,000 kyat. Other voters also had to do as told by polling station officers. They had to enter from where directed and cast votes as told. There were some forcing while voting also. People were not allowed to go out after 9:00 pm. The order came from village head and BGF. The landlines were cut. The polling station opened at 7:00 am and closed at 6:00 pm. The election is finished but I don't believe it will bring anything good to ordinary people like us. It will bring benefits USDP and the military society. Many people did not agree with the election."
မဲေပရမည္လုိ့သတင္းကုိ ျကားပါတယ္။ မဲေပးဖုိ့အတြက္ အိမ္ျပန္ခဲ့လည္း မဲမေပးခဲ့ဘူး။ မွတ္ပံုတင္ေပ်ာက္သြားလုိ႔ေပါ့..။ မဲေပးတဲ့အခ်ိန္မွာ က်ေနာ္ မဲရံုးအနီးမွာ (နာရီ၀က္ေလာက္) ရပ္ျကည့္ေနတယ္။ မဲလာေပးတဲ့လူေတြက မ်က္ႏွာမသာမယာနဲ႔ စိတ္ရွဳပ္ေနတဲ့ပံုေတြနဲ႔ လာျကာတယ္။ အရမ္းေျကာက္ေနတဲ့ပံုပဲ။ မဲေပးတဲ့အခ်ိန္မွာ မဲရံု၀န္က်င္းမွာ စစ္တပ္၊ နယ္ျခားေစာင့္တပ္ဖြဲ႔၀င္ေတြ၊ ျပည္သူ႔စစ္ေတြ ရိွတယ္။ ကင္မရာကုိင္ထားျပီး လုိက္ရုိက္ေနတဲ့သံုးဦးေလာက္ ေတြ႔တယ္။ မဲရံုးက ေဆးေပးခန္းေနရာမွာ လုပ္တယ္။ မဲပံုထားတဲ့ေနရာကုိ အျပင္က ျကည့္ရင္မျမင္ရဘူး။ ရြာက လူဦးေရ (၄၀၀၀)ေလာက္ရိွတယ္ တစ္အိမ္ တစ္ေယာက္လာေပးရမည္။ မလာမေနရေပါ့...။ က်ေနာ္တုိ႔ မိသားစုမွာ (၇)ဦးရိွတယ္။ (၃)ဦးမဲေပးခဲ့တယ္။ ျခေသၤ့တံဆိပ္ကုိ ေပးခဲ့တယ္လုိ့ေျပာတယ္။ အေမကလည္း သူမသိဘူးလုိ့ ခုိင္းတဲ့အတုိင္း ေပးလုိက္တယ္လုိ့ ေျပာတယ္။ ရြာဥကဌအိမ္ကို သြားရတယ္။ မင္းတုိ့ မဲထည့္ရမယ္လုိ့ ေျပာတယ္။ မထည့္ရင္ ဒဏ္ေငြ (၅၀၀၀)ရုိက္မယ္လုိ့ေျပာတယ္။ မဲရံုးထဲမွာေတာ့ မဲရံုလာျကတဲ့သူေတြက မဲရံုးမွာ တာ၀န္က်တဲ့သူေတြ ၀င္ခုိင္းတဲ့အေပါက္ထဲ ၀င္ျပီး ထည့္ခုိင္းတဲ့အတုိင္း မဲထည့္ေပးရတယ္။ မဲေပးတဲ့လူေတြကေတာ့ အတင္းအျကပ္မဲထည့္ခုိင္းခံရတာေတြ ရိွတယ္။ ညေန (၉)နာရီေက်ာ္ရင္ အျပင္ထြက္မရေတာ့ဘူး။ အမိန့္ကုိ နယ္ျခားေစာင့္တပ္ေတြနဲ့ ဥကဌေတြ ထုတ္ထားတယ္။ ဖုန္းလုိင္းပိတ္ထားတယ္။ မဲရံုးက နံက္ (၇)နာရီဖြင့္ျပီး ညေန (၆)နာရီ ပိတ္သြားတယ္။ ဒီေရြးေကာက္ပြဲဟာ ျပီးသြားတာပဲရိွတယ္။ က်ေနာ္တုိ႔လုိ သာမန္လူေတြအတြက္ကေတာ့ ဘာမွ ေကာင္းလာမွာ မဟုတ္ဘူး။ ျကံ့ဖြံ႔ႏွင့္ စစ္အုပ္စု သူတုိ့အတြက္ကေတာ့ ေကာင္းခ်င္ရင္ ေကာင္လာမွာေပါ့...။ လူအေတာ္မ်ားမ်ား ဒီေရြးေကာက္ပြဲအေပၚ မေက်နပ္ဘူးေပါ့....။