Dechen Dolkar

During the three-day special voting operation for the fourth National Assembly Elections, held from November 23 to 25, 2,046 registered individuals with disabilities (PWDs) exercised their right to vote.

The Election Commission of Bhutan (ECB) facilitated this early voting service to accommodate PWDs and those facing challenges in traveling to the polling stations on the actual polling day.

This service was extended to individuals dealing with chronic illnesses, bedridden conditions, elderly citizens, or those with immobility issues. Specifically, it targeted PWDs unable to physically go to the polling stations on the poll day.

Out of the total PWDs who cast their votes, 922 were male, and 1,124 were female. A total of 2,165 eligible individuals had registered for the special early voting service with the Election Commission of Bhutan.

However, more than 100 registered PWDs did not cast their votes. Election officials explained that some individuals had passed away after their registration, while others, who were admitted to the hospital during the registration process, were later discharged and unable to participate in the special early voting.

The election officials obtained the list of PWDs from the gewogs and associations. Despite their efforts to reach every registered PWD voter, some individuals could not be contacted.

Samtse reported the highest number of PWDs casting their votes, with 275, while Gasa had the lowest, with only five PWDs participating in the vote.

In total, 496,836 voters are eligible to vote in the fourth National Assembly elections, comprising 254,742 women and 242,094 men.

Of the total registered voters in the country, 125,949 have opted for postal voting.