As per the final electoral roll there are a total of 432,030 voters out which a total of 88,915 are registered as postal voters for the NC election.
Of this 88,915 postal voters 59,975 voters have registered to vote by means of postal ballot facilitation booth, 1,964 are registered as overseas postal ballot voters and 843 voters will cast votes through the mobile facilitation booth which will be for the voters with disability, medical problems, and prisoners.
The rest 26,133 have opted to vote by the conventional postal ballot like before. All such postal ballots should have been submitted to their respective dzongkhags by the 19th of April so that counting can happen on the poll day of 20th April.
The 59,975 eligible postal voters and another 843 coming to a total of 60,818 postal voters can vote in 69 postal facilitation booths set up across the country to ensure that such registered postal voters can cast their vote from the place they reside without having to go to their native place or village to vote.
The ECB originally planned to have 64 such special booths but with with the increase in the registration, 5 additional facilitation booths had to be established to take it up to 69.
The postal ballot facilitation booth will be operational on the 12th of April from 9 AM to 5 PM till 14th of April from 9 AM to 5 PM in all the 20 dzongkhags.
“We kept three days for casting their votes through the facilitation booths so that there won’t be unnecessary rush and queue and the registered postal voters can sparingly come and complete the voting procedures without any hassle,” said Phub Dorji, Head of Department of Civic and Electoral Training with ECB.
Phub Dorji said that the votes that are casts through the postal ballots facilitation booths will be sent through Bhutan Postal Corporation to their respective dzongkhags everyday during the three-day facilitation booth service.
“We would like to remind the general voters who’ve opted for postal ballot facilitation booth that it is mandatory to come with their voter cards which needs to be collected from the ECB head office or from the respective dzongkhag election offices.” he added.
“Facilitation booths are being introduced after casting votes through postal ballot was seen as a complicated and lengthy process with many forms to be filled. ECB then started reviewing the facility to simplify the process and introduce a more convenient method of voting for them,” said Namgay Tshering, ECB’s Head of Postal Ballot Unit.
Of the Dzonkhags, Thimphu has the maximum facilitation booths at 10 followed by Samtse at 6, Dagana and Trashigang have 5 each, Chukha, Paro, Samdrupjongkhar and Sarpang have 4 each, Mongar Trongsa and Wangdue are with 3 each, Bumthang, Gasa, Haa, Lhuentse, Pemagatshel, Punakha, Trashiyangtze, Tsirang and Zhemgang have two booths each.
“We would like to request the voters on the poll day to to take their voter cards along with their CID. Although voter card alone would suffice but should any issue arise with the voter cards, CID will function as a supporting document to confirm that you’re eligible for voting,” said Phub Dorji.
He also advised voters to refrain from carrying firearms or sharp objects and avoid coming under the influence of alcohol or any other substances.
With only 14 days for the poll, the ECB has dispatched postal ballots to all the voters and has already started receiving back the postal ballots from the voters.
Poll Day for normal voters
The election campaign will end on 18th April on 9 A.M and after that 48 hours of ‘No Campaign Period’ (earlier referred as Black-Out Period) will be observed until the Poll Day. During the ‘No Campaign Period’ no candidates or individual should indulge in campaigning be it in their dzongkhag or on social media platforms. Phub Dorji also said that the 48 hour no campaign period is also for the undecided voters to reflect well and make an informed decision. There will 866 polling stations established across the country on poll day.