The two constituencies of Sarpang received a total of 6,557 postal ballots, of which 1,686 were conventional postal ballots and 4,871 were facilitation ballots.

Constituency-wise, Gelephu received more postal ballots than Shompangkha. The office of Returning Officer of Gelephu constituency received a total of 4,342 postal ballots, out of which 3,082 were from facilitation ballots and 1,242 from conventional postal ballots.

Shompangkha constituency received a total of 2,233 postal ballots, of which 1,789 were from facilitation ballots and 444 from conventional postal ballots.

However, polling officials said the postal ballots were being sorted out and so would take longer to ascertain the number of valid votes.

Returning Officer of Gelephu, Tshering Wangchuk, said that the office would be able to share the detailed information about postal ballots only after the counting.

Shompangkha’s Returning Officer, Kinley Phuntsho, said that tallying the figures was difficult. He said that polling officials were working to complete the counting of postal ballots.

With a total of 30,183 registered voters in the two constituencies, Sarpang is the fourth largest dzongkhag after Trashigang, Samtse, and Mongar in terms of the voter population.

There are a total of 17,242 voters in the Gelephu and 12,941 in the Shompangkha. The numbers include EVM voters, conventional postal voters, and those who registered for the postal ballot facility booths.

There are 45 polling booths in the two constituencies – 21 polling booths in Shompangkha and 24 polling booths in Gelephu.

About 222 polling officials, excluding security personnel, have been deployed for the elections in the dzongkhag.

Election officials said that they held coordination meetings with stakeholders such as the department of roads (DoR), Bhutan Telecom Limited and Bhutan Power Corporation to ensure that communications and the supply of electricity are not interrupted.

MB Subba | Gelephu