Kelzang Wangchuk | Nganglam

With Nganglam under lockdown, the returning officer’s (RO) office is facilitating mobile voting from door-to-door for the bye-election since June 24.

While voters in the town, including residents of Tanzama and Satsalo will be provided paper mobile voting facility, voters above 65 years and with disability would vote on mobile electronic voting machine.

The office would also facilitate mobile voting in far-flung villages with less than 100 voters so that people need not travel.

The mobile voting was supposed to start on June 21 and complete on June 25 but because of the lockdown, it was postponed.

The office deployed more than 20 polling officials, including securities to facilitate mobile voting after carrying out an antigen test on June 24.

The officials would implement mobile voting in containment mode following the Covid-19 safety protocols.

The RO and health officials briefed the polling officials, party representatives and candidates on Covid-19 safety protocols.

They said concerned officials would be held accountable if they breach protocols during the operation of the facility.

The RO, Sonam Tobgyal, said the office deployed three teams in three gewogs and four teams in Nganglam town, including Tanzama and Satsalo villages.

He said the office is also facilitating mobile voting to stranded voters of the three gewogs in Nganglam town because of the lockdown, as they could not go to their respective polling station to cast votes.

He said Election Commission of Bhutan implemented mobile voting facility during the election in Phuentsholing. “I am confident to go ahead with the scheduled polling day.”

The office registered 203 people above 65 years and voters living with disabilities for mobile voting and issued 39 overseas postal ballots.

The office registered 2,669 postal ballots and issued 2,665 ballots. Four were rejected because of improper addresses. The demkhong has about 7,426 eligible registered voters.

The two candidates stopped their campaign on June 19.

Edited by Tashi Dema