After walking for more than seven hours uphill through dense forest, a team comprising eight election officials reached Tsang-Ngo village. They are here to facilitate voting for 120 voters during the National Council poll day on April 20.

Located towards the north of the giant Lhudrup Rinchentse Dzong, Tsang-Ngo is the most remote village in Lhuentse, which has eight gewogs. Tsang-Ngo is under Khoma gewog and is 15 km drive from Lhuentse town.

From the team of eight, five are polling officials and rest the security personnel. They carried two Electronic Voting Machines (EVMs); one would be used as backup for emergency. 

Having conducted two rounds of voter education programmes, the voters of Rolmateng and Tsang-Ngo villages, which are sparsely spread across the forests, are expected to be prepared. The voters are mostly villagers who depend on livestock.

Another 108 election officials, including 42 security personnel left for 13 polling stations in Jarey, Khoma and Gangzur gewogs yesterday. An additional 146 election officials will leave today for 19 polling officials in Kurtoed, Maedtsho, Maenbi, Minjey and Tsaenkhar gewogs. Among them are 89 polling officials. 

The officials will carry with them 38 EVMs and documents. Each polling station has an extra EVM each for back up.

The furthest distance a team will cover today is Oong-Gar polling station in Maedtso geowg, which is around 68 km drive from Lhuentse dzongkhag administration.

Election officials at the Office of the Returning Office (RO) have been working late into the night for more than a month now. Since last night, the election officials started segregating envelope “A” and envelope “B” of the postal ballots, a process that cross checks the documents.

The officials during this period thoroughly verify details such as Identity Declaration Certificate, VIPIC/ CID number, witness among others. The segregation would continue until tomorrow, said the Returning Officer, Thinlay.

Of the 812 eligible voters for the two facilitation booths, 647 have voted. 

Meanwhile, all five candidates of the dzongkhag were trying to complete the campaign before no campaign period, which starts from 9am today.

From a total of 16,040 eligible voters in the dzongkhag, 4,310 are postal voters. Gangzur gewog has the highest voters with 3,203 followed by Tsaenkhar, which has 2,512. Jarey has the least with 1,343 voters. 

Tenzin Namgyel | Lhuentse