The election commission (EC) started updating the voter list across Bangladesh on Tuesday.
Chief Election Commissioner KM Nurul Huda launched the voter updating programme at the conference room of Deputy Commissioner in RajbariSpeaking on the occasion the CEC said, “It is not EC’s duty to increase voter, EC’s job is only to arrange a fair election. Bringing new voter is the work of local candidates.”
“Voter presence was poor in the last Upazila election as a major party stayed away,” he said.
“Police administration has taken finger print of Rohingya refugees when they entered Bangladesh. For this there is no chance to add them in the new voter list,” said the CEC.
Data of the citizens who were born on or before January 1, 2001, 2002, 2013 and 2004 will be collected and included in the list. Citizen born in 2003 and 2004 will be added to the voter list after they attain the age of 18.
In the first phase, information will be collected from 135 upazilas in 64 districts and it will continue till 13 May, said SM Asaduzzaman, joint secretary of the Election Commission.
Election commissioner Rafiqul Islam, Shahadat Hossain Chowdhury, secretary Helaluddin Ahmed, additional secretary Mokhlesur Rahman and NID wing Director Mohammad Saiful Islam also launched the programme in different districts.Transgender people can now be voters as “hijras” for the very first time in the country’s history.
Previously, they were registered only as women or men on the national voters list, as there was no third option for the people of this community.
The Election Commission (EC) has recently added “hijra” along with the other two gender categories, “male and female”, on the voter registration form.
Information about 8 million citizens will be collected in this round.
After the end of the door-to-door data collection till May 13, registration and collection of the citizens’ fingerprints at designated centres will continue from May 25 to October 30.
Bangladesh has around 104.15 million voters now – over 52.5 million male and about 51.65 million female.