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EVM use in next polls unlikely

Published : 08 Jan 2023 10:04 PM | Updated : 09 Jan 2023 02:31 PM

Voting in the next 12th general election would be held by using ballot papers if the scheme for the electronic voting machines (EVMs) is not passed by mid-January, said the Election Commission (EC) authorities. 

“If the scheme for the EVMs is not passed by mid-January, voting in the next general election will be held by using ballot papers,” Election Commissioner Begum Rasheda Sultana said this on Sunday. 

"Unless the new scheme of the EVMs is passed by mid-January, these machines cannot be used in 150 (parliamentary) seats. In this case, the EC will have to prepare for voting on ballot papers," she told the media after a meeting with technical experts at her Election Commission office in Agargaon Sunday (8 January). 

The Election Commission had earlier proposed a project costing around Tk 9,000 crore sent to the government for procuring and using of EVMs in 150 out of 300 seats. That proposal has not yet been cleared.  

The EC commissioner said the EVM project does not seem to have progressed much. 

"We said that we will use EVMs in maximum of 150 seats subject to receipt of project funds," she said. "If it comes on time, it is better. If not, we will do with what we have. We have the capacity to use EVMs in 70 to 80 seats, (but) I don't know what we have now," she added.   

She said that they did not talk to the policymakers (ministries) about this and said that it is not customary. The EC Secretariat may discuss this.

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