Thais voted nationwide on Sunday in provincial elections that mark the first test of democracy since a general election last year that drew accusations of manipulation and helped spawn months of youth protests. The elections in Thailand’s 76 provinces outside the capital Bangkok are the first since Prime Minister Prayuth Chan-ocha, who kept power after last year’s ballot, overthrew an elected government in a military coup. “It’s my duty to vote,” said 27-year-old bank worker Korkiet Akaraparn, voting in his first provincial election in Nonthaburi, on the outskirts of Bangkok. “I hope that there will be new people from this election who bring change.” Polling officials reported a steady turnout despite Thailand’s biggest daily surge in coronavirus cases on Saturday in a province outside Bangkok. Polls close at 5 p.m. (1000 GMT), with results expected from the evening. Among the parties putting up candidates is the Progressive Movement, which has its roots in the now banned Future Forward Party of Thanathorn Juangroongruangkit. Thanathorn had emerged as the most vocal challenger to Prayuth. When he and his party were banned from politics, it prompted protests demanding the removal of Prayuth, a new constitution and reforms to the powerful monarchy.