Dhaka City Elections

46,000 officers to be trained for using 35,000 EVMs

About 35,000 Electronic Voting Machines (EVMs) are expected to be used in the upcoming elections of two city corporations in capital Dhaka, said officials of the Election Commission (EC). The officials of the EC also said that it is going to train up around 46,000 polling and presiding officers on the EVMs. Moreover, about 5,000 personnel from the Bangladesh Army will remain present at the voting centres for technical assistances in the use of the EVMs.

It should be mentioned that for the first time the highest number of EVMs are going to be used in any election in Bangladesh. Besides, 100 percent voting is being held through the EVMs for the first time. A meeting held on January 15 at the EC office informed that the EC is going to train up a total of 45,770 polling and presiding officers to cast votes through the EVMs in two city corporation elections. Of them, 2,468 are presiding officers, 14,434 assistant presiding officers and 28,868 polling officers.Besides, a two-day long educational programme will be held for the demonstrators on January 26 and 27.

The EC officials also said that a total of 34,869 EVMs will be used for the elections in two city corporations. Of them, 15,692 EVMs will be used for the DSCC and 13,176 for the DNCC while the rest 6,001 EVMs will be used for training and demonstrations before the DCC elections.

Moreover, around 5,000 personnel from the armed forces will remain present at the vote centres for technical assistances to the voters and poling and presiding officers. According to the EC, the number of total voters in two city corporations is 54,03,109 and of them the number of voters in DNCC is 30,35,621 while 23,67,488 in DSCC.

Besides, total estimated number of voting centres in two city corporations is 2,473 and estimated voting booths is 13,514. Of them, the number of voting centres in DNCC is 1,349 and voting booths 7,516 while the number of voting centres in DSCC is 1,124 and voting booths is 5.998.

The elections in Dhaka South City Corporation (DSCC) and Dhaka North City Corporation (DNCC) are scheduled to be held on January 30. The elections will be held for filling up two mayoral and 172 Ward Councillor posts. Although earlier EVM was used partially in different elections, now the EC is going to use the EVM 100 percent in the upcoming parliamentary by election and city corporation elections. The EC officials also said EVM will be used in all the future elections.

It should be mentioned there are some confusions over the use of the EVMs while opposition BNP and some others also have taken stance against the EVM. They are claiming that the EVM might be used for stealing votes in digital ways. Election Commissioner Brig Gen (Retd) Shahadat Hossain Chowdhury said steps for publicity and publications have been taken to reduce public confusion and misunderstanding about the EVMs.

In addition, a government message sent through state-owned Teletalk to its users on Wednesday claimed, “Since there is no internet or wifi connection, so there is no possibility of hacking the machine or stealing votes.”