Voter turnout at around 45% for NC elections

Drop in voter turnout compared to 53% in 2008 NC elections

For the second time in history, people across the country voted 20 members to the National Council yesterday.

Of the 379,819 registered voters 168,180 exercised their voting rights giving a voter turnout of about 45% at the national level. The number has dropped by around 8% in comparison to the 2008 elections that recorded a voter turnout of 53% for the NC.

Spokesperson of the Election Commission of Bhutan, Dasho Chogyal Dago Rigdzin said “everything went well and smoothly with full participation from the electorate.”

Of the total votes cast at the 850 polling stations, 24,897 or 14% votes were cast through postal ballot and the rest through electronic voting machines (EVM).

In 2008, a total of only 4742 (2.8%) were cast through postal ballots.

Gasa Dzongkhag has the least number of registered voters but the highest percentage of voter turnout. A voter turnout of 73% has been recorded as 1,352 people voted from among the total 1840 registered voters.

With 33%, Trashigang Dzongkhag saw the least voter turnout. Of the 41,222 registered voters, only 13,839 voted.

67 candidates have contested for the NC elections of which five were women. None of the women candidates were elected although the electorate comprised a majority of females.

4,651 polling officials were deployed for the NC elections.

Although many parts of the country experienced heavy rainfalls over the last few days, the weather was much better on the poll day.

“The weather condition also favored us and today we could drop our polling officials and EVMs to Lunana just in time. Otherwise we would have been compelled to postpone the Lunana polls, therefore postponing the result declarations for Gasa Dzongkhag as well, till the weather was favorable,” Dasho Chogyal said.

He added that save for some minor issues with regard to voter photo identity cards, there hasn’t been any major issues. “People participated with heart and soul. They went by the call from the highest authority,” Dasho Chogyal said.

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6 comments

  1. ECB had five years to prepare for this election yet they are not clear on who should be allowed to cast their votes through postal ballot…….I won’t be surprised if the turnout is less that 45% during the NA election.
    EC’s regular stunt on BBS and print media on election inclusion without effective result proves that he is another useless executive with the gift of gab and no vision.

  2. ECB, why can’t you provide everyone the option to vote through postal ballot? Why only a certain group of people/profession? Are the others not citizens of this country? Why the double standards? As a constitutional body, you ought to provide people with equal rights and privileges.

    I am a small businessman. Time and money is equally important to me, if not more, than it is to civil servants, armed forces, etc. Just as civil servants work for the government, I also work and pay taxes to the government and contribute my little share to nation building. 

    If you want good voter turn out, don’t restrict them!

    • Druk Highlight

      I agree! Postal Ballot may just increase the number of voters in the upcoming elections. ECB should make a note of this. Please help.

  3. Do not talk of privately employed people, the govt. owned corporate employees are treated as third class citizens of Bhutan. Most of them did not go to franchise their right for the NC election. That is why no women candidates were elected. If ECB do not wake up now for the NA election, there might be only 25% turnout. My opinion only

  4. i have seen that some women candidate are capable but some of the former NC candidate are fresh graduate la. now Bhutanese people’s are understood about polities

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