A total of 2,137 voters cast their ballots at the three postal ballot facilitation booths in Pemagatshel from October 10 to 12. The voter turnout was 85.82 percent.

There were three booths in Pemagatshel – Pemagatshel MSS, Nganglam HSS and Dungsam Cement Corporation Limited (DCCL) in Nganglam drungkhag, which together have 2,490 registered voters.

The polling officials gave preference to women who came with their children and the elderly people cast their votes first at all the booths.

The facilitation booth at DCCL saw 512 voters, 270 male and 242 female of the 600 registered voters while 336 male and 460 female voters cast their ballots at Nganglam HSS. This polling station has 926 registered voters.

The facilitation booth set up at Pemagatshel MSS saw 829 voters – 372 male and 457 female. There are 964 registered voters with 437 male and 527 female for this polling station.

Some voters had come at 9am to cast their ballots at Pemagatshel MSS on October 10 and Thinley Dorji, a private employee, was of those voters. He had come to cast his vote leaving his wife, who had also registered for facilitation booth with two children at home.

The 34-year old said he as started around 8:30am from home and cast his vote around 11am. “I went home after casting my vote and sent my wife to vote,” he said.“My son is seriously ill and we need to perform a rimdro for him but we did not want to our voting rights. A single vote also matters to select a capable government,” Thinley Dorji said.

A truck driver, Tenpa Tashi, 45, said that facilitation booth helped save not only money but also life because there are cases of accidents among those who went to cast their votes in the village.

He said that some couples from different places face problems to travel with kids and also have to spend large amounts to travel to their villages. “Some get discouraged to exercise their rights,” Tenpa said.

Pema Jamtsho, 19, a class 12 student of Nganglam CS, said he was voting for the first time. “It would help if the concerned authorities allow the students to attend common forums as it will be easier for us to decide and vote for the capable political party and candidate,” he said.

He said they surf the internet, read the manifestos of the parties and discuss the pledges among themselves. “I don’t know both the candidates of my constituency but the manifesto that I read last week at home made me easier to decide which party I should vote for,” Pema Jamtsho said.

Kelzang Wangchuk | Nganglam