PAANCHTHAR, July 1: On Friday, Sanjay Rai of Phidim, the district headquarters of Paanchthar, was busy noting down the poll updates outside the rural municipality office.
Despite the scorching sun, he was curiously scribbling down the votes received by each candidate. But the disturbing sound of the microphone often left him guessing.
Sometimes, he himself was unable to note down the number of votes as the spokesperson made the announcement quickly. That tested his patience for a while. But, Rai was not the only one so desperate to get poll updates as there were hundreds of more locals like him.
Every time the poll officers, representatives of political parties and journalists came out of the rural municipality office, they were flocked by the locals seeking information on poll updates. It was equally difficult for the journalists to collect information delivered through the microphone. Locals waiting in queue were bothered by the sluggish vote counting.
Voters were desperately waiting for the candidates of their choice to win. Every time the poll officers announced the vote counting updates, some looked happy while others disappointed. According to the locals, they just can't wait to congratulate the candidates of their favor and celebrate their victory. Locals from various villages have reached their respective rural municipality offices leaving all their other works aside.
According to the locals, it has been really difficult for them to get the updates of eight local units of Paanchthar. Though it rained on Friday, the locals were seen curiously waiting for poll updates outside vote counting centers, holding umbrellas. Ghanshyam Ghimire, who has come to Rabi, the center of Miklajung, all the way from Limba had to stand all day in the rains to get poll updates. “I wish the results were out right now and I could happily return home by watching the candidate of my choice win,” said Ghimire.
Lack of sufficient poll officers is one of the reasons behind the snail-paced vote counting. Due to the fewer number of poll officers, even the information officers are involved in vote counting.