While the overall voter turnout in Bumthang increased by almost two percent in the general elections compared with that of the primary round, actual voters using EVM decreased.

The dzongkhag election team speculates that it could be due to the tshechu coinciding with the poll day as voter turnout decreased in the nearby polling stations like Chhokhoer toe, Gangrithang and Tamzhing. However, Wangduechholing polling station saw an increase of 7 EVM voters.

However, the increase in the number of postal ballots made up for the difference.

The dzongkhag administration had earlier notified the people that the Jakar tshechu would be held after the elections.

However, on September 10, the dzongkhag administration revoked the first notification stating that the three-day tschechu would be held beginning October 17. “This is as per the directive of the Cabinet to conduct the tshechu in keeping with the tradition,” the notification stated.

The dzongkhag administration extended postal ballot facilities to 46 dancers.

In an effort to generate a much higher voter turnout, the dzongkhag requested 22 families from Chhumig, who were gearing to migrate to their winter residence, to stay back until the general elections was over.

To compensate for the lost time, the dzongkhag administration rendered a health checkup to some 120 voters from these families.

Bumthang saw one of the highest voter turnouts in the primaries with 76.3 percent against the national figure of 66 percent. This increased to more than 77 percent.

As for the postal ballot facilitation booths, Bumthang saw a turn out 90 percent against 89 percent in the primary round.

Bumthang dzongdag said employees and dependents of about 50 agencies were provided the facility and that the election team knew every voter using the facilitation booth. “We sent reminders to those who didn’t turn up in the primary round and made calls until the last minute,” he said.

The team took three facilitation booths to the highlanders in Lamthrang, Gonthang, and Tshampa for 92 voters, of which 87 turned out to cast their ballot.

The facilitation booth in Wangduecholing saw 1,743 voters against a registered voter of 1,914. In Chhumig, 446 of the 502 voters used the facilitation booth.

Tshering Dorji