Samdrupjongkhar received 8,252 postal ballots, about one percent less than the primary round as of yesterday evening. 

In a unique incident, a couple from different dzongkhags mistakenly inserted their postal ballot forms or identity declaration certificates (IDC) into each other’s postal ballots. The wife’s IDF form reached Samdrupjongkhar in her husband’s envelope, addressed to the returning officer in his constituency.

This case is one of 68 conventional postal ballots rejected under the Dewathang-Gomdar constituency during the opening and verification of the postal ballot box containing envelope A over the past two days. Envelope A includes a postal ballot form/IDC issued by the returning officer (RO) soliciting details of the postal voter, attested by a competent witness.

Out of the total 4,522 dispatched postal ballots, the RO based in Samdrupjongkhar received 4,359 postal ballots, including five from overseas as of yesterday evening. The team accepted 4,291 contained in envelope B and rejected 68 ballots. However, there might be additional rejections while opening envelope B and counting today. 

A postal ballot is rejected for reasons such as the absence of citizenship card numbers in the IDC for either the voter or competent witness, mentioning the competent witness’s name without the corresponding signature and ID card number in the IDC, and situations where the same person signs the declaration for both the voter and competent witness in the IDC.

In Dewathang-Gomdar, 59 persons with disabilities (PWDs) and those unable to walk to the polling booths due to health reasons cast their votes through special early voting.

The Jomotsangkha-Martshala constituency received 3,893 postal ballots and is yet to receive the remaining 154 postal ballots, according to election officials based in Samdrupcholing drungkhag. There were 62 voters registered for PWDs, but three could not vote due to health problems.

Samdrupjongkhar dzongkhag, with two constituencies, witnessed 8,729 votes cast through postal ballots and 9,990 votes in the EVMs during the primary round. There are 29,222 registered voters across 53 polling stations.

Contributed by Rinzin Wangchuk