LG: At least 741 postal ballots were rejected after scrutiny by the returning officers of lower and upper Kheng in Zhemgang.

The dzongkhag’s eight gewogs saw a total of 3,416 postal ballot applications.

Upper Kheng’s Nangkor gewog, which has 2,784 eligible voters, received the highest applications with 589. It also saw the highest rejections with 143 applications rejected.

Bjoka gewog, which received 210 applications, saw 45 postal ballot applications rejected.

Of 741 applications rejected, 502 were not registered for postal ballot, while 239 were rejected after they were found with wrong information.

Upper Kheng’s returning officer, Tendri Gyeltshen, said some application forms were not filled duly. Some provided invalid voter photo identity card (VPIC) numbers.

The last batch of postal ballots for Nangkor gewog, which was delayed after a gup candidate of Goleng chiwog complained, was dispatched on September 12.

Lower Kheng’s Bjoka, Goshing, Ngangla and Phangkhar also dispatched their last postal ballots on September 13.

However, those rejected will be eligible to vote in person.

Tendri Gyeltshen said the rejected list has been sent to the head office, which will be published in the media.

Meanwhile, some candidates are worried that the postal ballot will make a huge difference on poll day. For instance, a man from Wamling in Shingkhar gewog has sent more than eight voters on his “care”.

In such cases, there is every chance that a person can manipulate the vote without the knowledge of the actual voter as there is neither a system nor mechanism to cross check it.

Shingkhar gewog received 565 applications for postal ballots with 109 rejected.

Tashi Tenzin | Zhemgang

Supported by Bhutan Media Foundation and Swiss Agency for Development and Cooperation