More than 6,600 postal ballots have reached the office of the two returning officers in Samdrupjongkhar.

Jomotsangkha-Martshala constituency’s returning officer has completed opening the envelope A, but those for Dewathang-Gomdar constituency began yesterday and will continue today.

The opening of envelope B that contain the ballots will be opened from 1pm today.

From the total ballots, 3,611 were valid, including those from postal ballot facilitation booths for Jomotsangkha-Martshala constituency. A total of 918 conventional ballots were sent to voters, of which the returning officer’s office received 869.

After opening and inspection of envelope A, 36 ballots were rejected. Officials said that some ballots were outside the envelope B, mistakes were made while filling the identity declaration certificate, among others issues.

There are 40 more ballots with missing IDC.

Officials said that whether to open the envelope B for those ballots will be decided in consultation with the candidates or their representatives today.

The rejected ballots cast through the facilitation booths were minimal with five rejected ballots so far. However, this number could increase when the officials open the envelope B today. From the accepted ballots, 1,412 were male.

Jomotsangkha-Martshala constituency has 11,239 registered voters, 5,314 are registered male voters.

The highest number of voters in the constituency will vote at the Pemathang gewog meeting hall with 1,212 voters. The lowest is in Woongthig that has 149 voters.

The constituency has 24 polling stations, including the three extended polling stations that have less than 250 voters.

The two constituencies together have 25,826 registered voters.

The postal ballot turnout has increased compared with that of National Council elections earlier this year. A total of 1,889 out of 2,565 registered voters cast their votes through the facilitation and mobile booths.

Tshering Palden | Samdrupjongkhar