RASUWA, Nov 7: With the first phase of provincial and parliamentary elections just 18 days away, voters' education is yet to be conducted in Rasuwa district raising concerns whether invalid votes this time would be as much as during the recent local elections.
Election officials at the district say that they have not started voters' education as the education materials have not been transported to the election office.
The Election Commission has to revise its voter education materials following the Supreme Court verdict ordering the election body to print separate ballot papers for the central parliament and provincial assembly elections.
In the absence of voter education materials, the District Election Office is planning to begin voter education only for five days starting from November 11.
The EC had appointed election officials for voters' education for a month but they have not moved out to the village for the campaign due to lack of voter education materials. The election office plans to conduct door-to-door campaign for voters' education in villages.
District Election Officer Nabin Khaling said that the election officials will do their best to educate the voters within the short span of time. He expressed hopes that it will not be much difficult to cast votes as only three ballot papers are arranged for the upcoming central parliament and provincial assembly elections. Seven different ballot papers were incorporated into a single paper in the recent local elections.
“The number of invalid votes depends upon how effectively the trainees can make them understand the voting process,” said Khaling, adding, “As the voters have already participated in two elections, it won't be much of a problem for them to cast votes.”
Since there will be three different ballot papers, there will be three ballot boxes.
Rasuwa had witnessed eight percent invalid votes in the recent local elections. Local stakeholders fear the invalid votes may remain as much as in the recent elections as the election body delays to educate the voters on how to cast error-free votes.