Most elderly residents in Phuentsholing who live with their relatives and children have voted through the facilitation booths.

Some have still opted to travel to their villages to vote through the electronic voting machine (EVM).

They said that the poll day is an important day for all to elect the most deserving party and is also an occasion for family and relatives living in different parts of the country to spend some time together.

Wangda 78 from Darla, Chukha, said that although he has to spend extra to travel home to vote, he still chose to vote through the EMV so that he could meet all his relatives.

All relatives bring different meals and after casting their votes, they sit together and enjoy the lunch, he said.

Another resident is Passang, 63, from Bongo, Chukha who will travel to his village to vote through the EVM.

“It won’t be difficult to cast my vote on Saturday. I have watched all the common forums and the debates among the presidents and the candidates,” Passang said. “Now I have already chosen the party and candidate for my constituency.”

Most people who voted through postal ballots shared that, if they were in the village, the families go to vote with packed lunch. Some shared that many people do not consider election important and that some initiatives need to be taken to make them responsible voters.

Yongba, 78, from Pemagatshel said he regrets that he would be missing his opportunity to vote, as he would be travelling for pilgrimage to Ladhak, India today.

He said he has observed all the common forums and presidential debates while staying at Gelephu with his son.

“I have chosen the party and candidate that have a good ideology and the one I like to support,” he said. ‘I will definitely vote in the general round.”

Sherab Lhamo, 78, from Radhi, Trashigang, said she stays with her daughter who is unemployed and so didn’t get postal ballot facility. She said she would have to travel to her village to vote.

But given the cost of travel and her age, she has decided to not go and vote.

Nim Dorji | Phuentsholing