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Police personnel on election duty to the eastern dzongkhags stop at the Thrumshingla pass between Bumthang and Mongar yesterday
Police personnel on election duty to the eastern dzongkhags stop at the Thrumshingla pass between Bumthang and Mongar yesterday

ECB fields 5,619 officials for NC poll day

A total of 5,619 election officials will be stationed in the 866 polling stations across the country by this evening for the third National Council poll day. 

The officials include 866 presiding officers, 2,598 polling officers, 866 polling assistants, and 866 female security personnel. 

The figures, however, do not include security officials deployed from Royal Bhutan Police and Royal Bhutan Army.

According to election officials, most polling officials must have left for their station, depending on the distance of the polling stations from the returning officers’ office.

“Some officials need not travel much as the polling stations are nearby,” Election commission’s head of Department of Election, Sonam Tobgyal, said.

Kheliphu and Khasheteng polling stations in Trashigang are the farthest. The polling officials will have to travel via Samdrupjongkhar to reach the stations.

A team of six polling officials were airlifted to Lunana in Gasa on April 15. 

The polling officials take with them electronic voting machine (EVM), polling materials like voter list, indelible ink, voter slip, which is white for men and yellow for female, and electoral role search system (ERSS).

The highest number of polling officials are deployed Trashigang where about 474 officials are there in its 79 polling stations followed by 456 officials in 76 polling stations in Mongar. Gasa has the least polling stations where about 66 officials are deployed in 11 polling stations.

Election officials say they have deployed more teachers as polling officials since there are more teachers in every dzongkhag. They also say that they tried to avoid officials who have their civil registration in the particular dzongkhag.

Meanwhile, ECB officials say that of the 60,590 (30,001 female and 30,589 male) people who registered for postal ballot facilitation and mobile booths on April 12, 13, 14 and 15, a total of 42,518 (20,654 female and 21,864 male) voted, taking the voter turn out to 70 percent.

A press release ECB issued stated that 699 people (65 female and 634 male) cast their vote in the mobile facilitation booths. 

The press release also stated that 469 booth officials were deployed and 77 independent observers in the 20 dzongkhags. 

It also stated that the postal ballots cast were handed over at the end of each day to Bhutan Post to be delivered to returning officers to be counted on the poll day. 

Tashi Dema

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