The biggest winner of the 2018 NC elections is Bhutanese democracy with a turnout of 54.28 percent. This is higher than the 2013 polls and also the 2008 polls.
This was made possible in large part by the Election Commission of Bhutan (ECB) through its postal ballot facilitation booth facility for which 59,975 people registered of the total 88,915 postal ballot voters.
This move was so revolutionary that it not only helped push up the voter turnoutl, but also allowed men voters (who normally vote in lesser numbers) to vote in large numbers enough to even overtake the women.
Women voters have always outweighed men voters in all national and local elections in Bhutan so far.
Men and women voters in the past who were working away from their villages in cities and other Dzongkhags found it expensive and time consuming to go back and vote. Many of them in the past also did not qualify for the postal ballot or found it too cumbersome.
However, the ECB’s facilitation booth removed this major obstacle and in the process gave the power and duty of the vote to many more citizens.
The ECB should continue to look at ways to make it easier for people to vote as it not only encourages larger turnouts, but also improves the diversity and hence quality of the results.
The postal ballot facilitation booth’s larger turnouts will have a major impact on the National Assembly elections in terms of encouraging higher turnout.
The metric scale of success of any election is judged by the voter turnout and going by this one the 2018 NC poll is a huge success.
The postal facilitation booth, apart form the electoral impact, also has the positive impact of saving a lot of time and man hours for government and private agencies whose employees otherwise may have to travel for days to vote.
It is also good that the 2108 NC polls have taken place well with relatively little controversy and issues.
Ordinary Bhutanese can also pat themselves on the back for making good use of this precious and important gift from our Kings.
“Every election is determined by the people who show up.”
Larry J. Sabato