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Monday, March 24, 2008

One Person, One Vote…and One Hell of a Trek

posted by on March 24 at 16:16 PM

The nation of Bhutan held its first ever national elections today, and one woman wasn’t going to let a few hundred miles stop her from participating:

The Himalayan kingdom of Bhutan may lay claim to having the world’s most enthusiastic voter — a 65-year-old woman who walked 600 kilometres (380 miles) to cast her ballot.

The woman responded to an appeal from the country’s king to embrace democracy as Bhutan shifts from absolute royal rule to becoming a constitutional democracy in Monday’s election, the Bhutan Times reported.

People were allowed to vote only in the place of their birth and thousands headed to remote villages to take part in the country’s first parliamentary elections ending absolute rule by the Wangchuck dynasty.

Tshewang Dema said she preferred to walk because she suffered motion sickness after her first and only car journey four years ago, said the newspaper on the eve of the election.

“I didn’t want to lose my vote just because I couldn’t travel in a car,” Dema said.

The journey took her 14 days.

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At least she didn't have to cross Lake Washington at rush hour. Talk about a journey!

Posted by nbc | March 24, 2008 5:19 PM

OMG that's 27 miles a day. I once walked 50 miles in a day, but couldn't get out of bed until noon the following day that I got done.

I couldn't imagine doing what amounts to a marathon a day for 14 days straight.

This could be more than just a record for voting.

Posted by rod in beijing | March 24, 2008 6:21 PM

My great great grand mother drug all her kids who could walk with her to the polls when women first got the vote in America. They had a two day walk of many miles in rural Arkansas.

I have heard the story many times. It is true. She was an arch Republican, (slavery) but of course the Great Depression changed the family history on that and the fact they all moved to the Northwest and joined unions and achieved relative prosperity.

Yes, even today I miss no elections - taboo in my extended family.

Bless these women. Was there a woman running for high office? Would be amusing to watch Bhutan elect a lot of women, before America.

Posted by John | March 24, 2008 6:36 PM

One word: Dramamine

Posted by Mike | March 24, 2008 6:43 PM

What is news worthy about this? The walk? The vote? She being 65? The voter being a woman? It being Bhutan? Are we now supposed to upset our comfortable lives and get out and vote? Is that the purpose of bringing this to our attention. Well for the record 50%+ of Americans can not be bothered with voting, their lives are comfy thank you and let's not rock the boat shall we? So THEY over there might walk days to vote, but we just can't be bothered.

Posted by Sargon Bighorn | March 24, 2008 7:09 PM

Thank Jebus for snark.

Posted by drewl | March 24, 2008 7:44 PM

one person one vote -- that sucks and we hate it in america.

1. superdelegates violate it.

2. delegate allocation rules violate it.
(allocations among states eg ny and tx -- it's not based on population)

3. the whole us senate violates it. wyoming voters have way more voting power than ca nj ma voters, etc.

4. exlcluding fl and mi means millions of people, no votes. pretty blatant violation of the one person one vote principle.

5. DC.

6. other territories, aliens, etc.

so......who are we to celebrate some other nations having one person one vote?

I'd bet money that we are pretty low down on the scales compared to most other democracies because of our quaint nonequal us senate which enshrines voter inequality.

Posted by unPC | March 24, 2008 8:39 PM

I'm not exactly sure why people are saying this isn't awesome.
This is awesome. If everyone respected their opinion and stake in the future of the country (or, in the case of the US, the world) that much, that would be a very good thing. That even one person on earth cares that much cheers me immensely.

Posted by Mr Fuzzy | March 24, 2008 11:07 PM

@7, or anyone; how much or little say does US law has in Dem and Rep primaries? Since a primary in and of itself isn't a real election to public office, do they even have to follow the voting rights act, or could each party just have a coronation if they wanted?

Posted by dbell | March 24, 2008 11:30 PM

The Wangchuck dynasty? You let that pass without comment?

Posted by Greg | March 24, 2008 11:46 PM

UnPC @ 7... I'm not sure I quite understand what you mean by #6... "Other territories, aliens, etc."? Aliens... as in space aliens? Since when are the martians able to vote?

Oh, did you mean immigrants? Pardon my ignorance, but since when is someone without documentation allowed to vote? Any why would they try, if they were risking deportation to do so?

Anyway, I have to agree that this is awesome, and that I wish we had this much voter enthusiasm in the US.

Posted by SDizzle | March 25, 2008 8:00 AM

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