Vot­ers gear up for postal fa­cil­i­ta­tion booths

Bhutan Times - - Home - Lhakpa Tsh­er­ing

As the mas­sive fa­cil­i­ta­tion booth vot­ing be­gins, thou­sands of el­i­gi­ble vot­ers casted their votes for the 2018 Na­tional As­sem­bly pri­mary elec­tion.

The fa­cil­i­ta­tion booth is open for three con­sec­u­tive days from 7 for the vot­ers to cast their votes. The booths are open from 9- am to 7- pm.

Of the to­tal 438,663 reg­is­tered vot­ers in the coun­try, 102,528 opted to vote through 65 fa­cil­i­ta­tion booths across the coun­try. Thim­phu has the high­est fa­cil­i­ta­tion booths at 12 with over 35,500 reg­is­tered postal vot­ers.

The var­i­ous fa­cil­i­ta­tion booths in Thim­phu in­cludes at Kawa­jangsa in Democ­racy House, YDF, Dechen­chol­ing, Changjiji, Royal Thim­phu Col­lege and Changlim­ithang park­ing among oth­ers.

With the ini­tia­tive, all el­i­gi­ble vot­ers can choose to vote in per­son by spe­cial bal­lot at their fa­cil­i­ta­tion boot.

The Elec­tion Com­mis­sion of Bhutan ( ECB) ini­ti­ated fa­cil­i­ta­tion booth to the el­i­gi­ble vot- ers to avail of the fa­cil­ity without hav­ing go to the con­stituency on poll day.

The ECB is also op­er­at­ing mo­bile fa­cil­i­ta­tion booth ser­vices for prison­ers and peo­ple liv­ing with dis­abil­i­ties and to their de­pen­dents. Mo­bile fa­cil­i­ta­tion booths are provided as spe­cial ser­vice for those with spe­cial needs.

It is aimed at pro­vid­ing equal ac­cess for peo­ple with dis­abil­i­ties and to ex­pe­ri­ence how free and fair elec­tion are be­ing con­ducted by ECB par­tic­u­larly for peo­ple liv­ing with dis­abil­i­ties in Bhutan.

Be­sides, it is also to cre­ate a unique plat­form for elec­tion com­mis­sion to learn about the nec­es­sary as­sis­tance re­quired by the in­di­vid­ual liv­ing with dis­abil­i­ties to ex­er­cise their fran­chise.

Dis­abled Per­sons' As­so­ci­a­tion of Bhutan ( DPAB) also en­cour­ages the reg­is­tered vot­ers of peo­ple with dis­abil­i­ties and their de­pen­dents who are el­i­gi­ble for cast­ing postal bal­lot to come and vote.

With the large num­ber of peo­ple choos­ing the method to vote, the elec­tion com­mis­sion has in­creased the fa­cilita- tion booths. Ac­cord­ing to the ECB, the num­ber of postal vot­ers has in­creased sig­nif­i­cantly for the Na­tional As­sem­bly elec­tions com­pared to the re­cent Na­tional Coun­cil elec­tions.

No elec­tronic vot­ing ma­chines ( EVMs) are used. How­ever, they must carry their Voter Photo Iden­tity Card ( VPIC) and pro­duce it at the fa­cil­i­ta­tion both.

The vot­ers in­clude public ser­vants, grad­u­ates and stu­dents in 20 dzongkhags. The poll day for the NA pri­mary round is on Septem­ber 15.

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