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As the students leave the school, polling officials and the security personnel at Jigme Losel Primary School in Thimphu begin readying the polling station.

Some of the polling stations in Thimphu located in schools had to wait until the schools closed for the day so that there was minimal disturbance to the students. Of 27 polling stations in Thimphu, 17 polling stations are located in schools.

North Thimphu’s Returning Officer (RO) Sonam Lhundrup said two sets of EVM were set up at the polling stations with more than 1,000 eligible voters.

Loselling Middle Secondary School in South Thimphu, Jigme Losel Primary School and Zilukha Middle Secondary School in North Thimphu, have more than 1,000 eligible voters.

Polling stations with less than 250 eligible voters do not get polling officer 1. “The presiding officer will perform the duty of the polling officer 1,” Sonam Lhundrup said.

Zamtog ORC (out-reach clinic), Zangleykha RNR hall, Tsha-loong Na primary school, Barzhong, BPC powerhouse in Begana, Gang Yuel ORC, Soe gewog centre meeting hall, Tagsidthang and Zhomthang polling stations have less than 250 eligible voters.

Tagsidthang polling station in North Thimphu and Zamtog ORC in South Thimphu have the lowest eligible voters, 43 and 88 respectively.

The RO’s office in South Thimphu started opening the postal ballot envelope A packages at the RO office in Simtokha on September 13. The RO and counting officials in North Thimphu, along with the four-party representatives started segregating the postal ballots yesterday at the office in Kawang.

The two offices of the returning officers of North and South Thimphu rejected 50 out of 1,805 postal ballots received as of 5pm yesterday.

North Thimphu’s RO office received 765 postal ballots. Of that, 376 were conventional postal ballots. The rest were ballots cast through the facilitation booths across the country. The office rejected 29 conventional postal ballots and three ballots from the facilitation booths.

Sonam Lhundrup said that the ballots were rejected because the voters had not signed the identification declaration certificate (IDC), some IDC did not have a witness, while some got their citizenship Identity Card number wrong.

Of the 1,040 postal ballots received by the office of the RO in South Thimphu, the office rejected 18.

South Thimphu’s RO Pemba T Gyeltshen said some of the ballots did not have the IDC form and some did not have a witness because of which the office had to reject the ballots.

Except for some of the furthest polling stations, election officials, including the returning officers and the observers, made rounds of the polling stations yesterday to ensure everything was in place.

Sonam Lhundrup said his office was all set for the poll day. All the 56 polling officials and 56 security personnel, including the 14 lady security official, left for the 14 polling stations in North Thimphu.

“Some polling officials and security personnel left for the polling stations on September 11 and 12 because the polling stations are located far away from the capital,” he said.

Another 67 polling officials, including a lady security officer each for a polling stations, left for the polling stations in South Thimphu on the afternoon of September 13.

Dechen Tshomo

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