Tuesday, 31 January, 2023
E-paper

Vote using ballot papers if EVM scheme not passed by mid-January: Commissioner Rasheda

Vote using ballot papers if EVM scheme not passed by mid-January: Commissioner Rasheda

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Election Commissioner Begum Rasheda Sultana on Sunday said that if the scheme for the electronic voting machines (EVMs) is not passed by mid-January voting in the next general election will be held by using ballot papers.

"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 said.

She made the comment to journalists after a meeting with technical experts at her Election Commission office in Agargaon. The Election Commission had earlier proposed a project of Tk 9000 crore to the government for procuring and using EVMs in 150 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 a 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.