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.