With the Electronic Voting Machines (EVM) checked and sealed and polling officials and security personnel briefed and deployed, the dzongkhag with the highest number of registered voters in the country (47,614), is set for the poll day tomorrow.

Following the two-day refresher’s course, Trashigang dzongkhag has deployed 371 polling officials across 75 polling stations since yesterday.

The furthest polling stations, Khiliphoo and Khashateng polling stations of Merak gewog in Radhi-Sakteng constituency have the least number of registered voters with 36 and 46 voters each.

The two polling stations are located near Lauri gewog in Samdrupjongkhar.

Refresher’s course for the officials deployed at the two stations was conducted on October 9 and 10. They left for their respective stations on October 13, four days ahead of the other polling officials.

Khiliphoo, the furthest chiwog, is officially five-day journey from Trashigang. Officials have to walk for two days from the nearest road point in Jompa, near Lauri gewog after crossing Jomotshangkha gewog. Khashateng is a four-day journey from Trashigang.

While the officials deployed could not be contacted, election officials in Trashigang said that they have to walk some 10 minutes away from the polling station towards a hilltop to make communication with the counting centre.

With five constituencies, Trashigang has one of the highest polling stations in the country. However, the number was reduced from 80 during the National Council elections earlier this year to 75 for the National Assembly elections.

Elections officials said that the number was reduced after studying the voter turnout and proximity of the stations. Stations in clustered settlements like in Merak and Sakteng were merged after consulting the people, according to the officials.

Similarly, in Udzorong gewog, officials added an extra polling station for the convenience of the voters.

Meanwhile, after a month of vigorous politicking, candidates were seen settling their campaign funds at the office of the returning officers. Both the candidates of Kanglung-Samkhar-Udzorong constituency were present at the returning officer’s office for the opening of postal ballot envelope A yesterday.

Younten Tshedup  | Trashigang