Rajbiraj, December 16
More than 100,000 votes cast in the recently concluded parliamentary and provincial elections have been found invalid in Saptari district alone. The number only includes the votes cast under proportional representation electoral system.
Following the report, the Election Commission said that voter education programme launched in the district was ineffective. Of the 236,800 PR votes cast for parliamentary and provincial elections, as many as 50,223 votes were found invalid in parliamentary election while as many as 64,860 votes were found invalid in provincial election, as per the District Election Office.
Constituency 4 of the district recorded the largest number of invalid PR votes in parliamentary election. Of 60,780 votes cast in the constituency, 16,296 votes were said to be invalid.
Similarly, Constituency 1 ‘ka’ and ‘kha’ recorded the highest number of invalid PR votes in provincial election. As many as 17,350 votes were said to be invalid of the total 63,884 votes cast in the constituency.
According to election officials involved in vote counting, a large number of ballot papers with two or more than two swostik stamps were found. “Not only that even thumb prints instead of swostik stamps were found on some ballot papers,” said the officials, adding that staffers deployed for voter education programme miserably failed in educating voters.
“Though the government spent millions of rupees in voter education programme in order to minimise number of invalid votes, it all went in vain due to poor execution of the programme and lack of effective monitoring ,” said Civil Society Network Saptari chairperson Sukharam Yadav.
A version of this article appears in print on December 17, 2017 of The Himalayan Times.