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40,000 out of 1.5 lakh EVMs faulty

Published : 09 Feb 2023 12:08 AM

At least 40,000 Electronic Voting Machines (EVMs) stored in the Election Commission have been found to be faulty.

EVM Project Director (PD) Col Syed Rakibul Hasan on Wednesday disclosed this information to the media at the election commission's office in Agargaon of the capital. 

He spoke to journalists after a meeting on EVMs.

He also said that the defective EVMs are being sent to Bangladesh Machine Tools Factory for repair.

'We have found errors in 40 thousand EVMs so far. Defective EVMs are being sent to Bangladesh Machine Tools Factory for repair. And 1 lakh 10 thousand EVMs are kept ready for voting", the EVM PD said.

He said that the project of purchasing new EVMs was not approved due to the financial crisis. As a result, the Election Commission has to rely on the stocked EVMs. 

"We have calculated the number of EVMs stocked in the EC, how many are usable now and how many need to be repaired", he added.

The project director said that a total of 1010,000 EVMs including 70,000 stored in Bangladesh Machine Tools Factory and 40,000 in other godowns are now operational for voting. 

The project officials said that those 40,000 EVMs have become faulty or useless due to carelessness, negligence and improper storing after voting was held.

It is known that EC had purchased 1.5 lakh EVMs at a cost of Tk 3,825 crore in 2018 before the last National Parliamentary elections. But a larger number of EVMs are now defective for the lack of proper maintenance.

Alongside by-elections to different constituencies in the National Parliament, EVMs were used in most of the local government elections held in the past 5 years.

Now EVMs are stored in more than 40 temporary warehouses in different districts of the country, including 10 regional offices. EC has found 40,000 EVMs defective after testing for the last 4 months.