In what is a good indication for the country’s democracy, an increasing number of Bhutanese people are exercising their electoral franchise responsibly.
The voter turnout in primary round of 2018 elections on Saturday surpasses that of voter turnout in primary round of 2013 elections, voter turnout in general round of 2013 elections, and voter turnout in the recently concluded National Council elections 2018.
A total of 291,098 voters voted in polls for the primary round of elections to the third National Assembly 2018 elections in 47 constituencies of 20 Dzongkhags Saturday, thus accounting to a 66.36 percent voter turnout this time.
The voters include 147,070 female voters and 144,028 male voters. However, the overall voter turnout exceeds that of the 2013’s primary round of elections that saw a voter turnout of 55.27 percent.
In terms of voting through Electronic Voting Machine (EVM) and Postal Ballot (PB), the latter had the highest voter turnout of 81.15 percent. A total of 108,580 voters voted that include 52,504 female voters and 56,076 male voters. And voter turnout through EVM was 59.86 percent. A total of 182,518 voters voted that included 94,566 female voters and 87,952 male voters.
Meanwhile, the Election Commission of Bhutan (ECB) had registered a total of 438,663 voters for the elections as of July 1, 2018, comprising 224,550 female registered voters and 214,113 male registered voters. And from the total 438,663 registered voters, 133,795 voters had registered as postal voters.
Among postal voters, 31,267 have registered as conventional postal voters – 22,624 male and 8,643 female. Around 97,870 postal voters have registered as facilitation booth postal voters – 44,106 male and 53,854 female. And from the 4,658 special needs postal voters, 2,536 are male and 2,122 are female.
Voter turnout in primary round of 2013 elections
In the country’s first-ever primary round polls held in May 2013, a total of 211,018 registered voters voted, thus accounting to a voter turnout of 55.27 percent.
Of the total votes cast, EVM saw a voter turnout of 82 percent and PB saw a voter turnout of 18 percent.
Of the four registered political parties that contested in the primary round of elections in 2013, Druk Chirwang Tshogpa then secured 5.9 percent of the total votes, Druk Nyamrup Tshogpa secured 17 percent, Druk Phuensum Tshogpa got 44.52 percent, and People’s Democratic Party bagged 32.53 percent.
Voter turnout in general round of 2013 elections
The general round of second National Assembly elections saw an overall voter turnout of 66.1 percent.
Of the total 381,790 registered voters in 2013, 208,594 votes were cast through the EVMs and 44,259 votes through PB. Meanwhile, Bhutan had the maximum voter turnout during the 2008 general round of elections with 80 percent.
Voter turnout in National Council elections 2018
During the recent National Council elections held earlier this year, Of the 432,030 eligible voters, 169,623 voters cast their votes at the 866 polling stations across the country, thus seeing a voter turnout of 54.3 percent.
Of the 432,030 registered voters, 220,881 voters were male and 211,149 were female.
Tshering from Thimphu