Voters turned out early and in droves. Pao Sothy, Chbar Ampou I commune election chief, pointed to a 60 percent voter turnout by 9 am, two hours after the polls opened.
Except for some eagerness in a voting line that led to a shouting match, there were no major difficulties.
Across the street at Chbar Ampou II commune, poll chief Pich Som Nang said 60 percent of 8,329 registered voters had voted by 10:30 am.
CPP and Sam Rainsy Party observers agreed that 75 percent of registered voters had turned out in Nirot commune. An 80 percent turnout was achieved by 1 pm in Tuol Sophea Khoun commune, Dangkao district, according to poll chief Men Kosal.
With one hour of voting to go in Cham Chao commune, 90% had cast their ballots. One of Kontok commune’s three polling areas was an anomaly, achieving only 38 percent voter turnout, compared with 88 and 75 percent turnout in the other two polling places.
According to poll chief Bon Limhuom, “239 registered, but only 90 have voted because more than 100 [voters] are military police. They do not have time, or work late or are in other provinces.”
Voters, however, were not anxious to divulge their choices.
“We can’t say who we voted for,’’ said Maly of Kontok commune, who would only be identified by her given name. “We have three parties and if I say I like one party [the other two parties] will make intimidation or they will be angry with us.’’
“I keep [my vote] a secret to protect my safety,’’ a Chbar Ampov II resident said. “But keeping it secret is also a Khmer idea.’’