EVM campaign in Comilla from next week

The Election Commission will kick off a campaign next week on electronic voting machine (EVM) in Comilla to train up the voters how to cast vote electronically.

In the meantime, the election commission has decided to use electronic voting machine in the upcoming maiden election to Comilla City Corporation (CCC), based on its success in the piloting with the box in recent NCC polls.

Election Commissioner Brigadier-General (retd) M Sakhawat Hossain made the disclosure while talking to journalists at his Agargaon EC office in the capital Sunday.

The election commissioner said, “From next week we shall take five EVMs to Comilla and begin a hands-on training for the voters.”

He told the journalists that EVM campaigning CDs would be given to cinema hall authorities to play at the beginning and intervals of the show.

Comilla City Corporation was formed on July 10 last through a gazette. It comprises 18 wards of Comilla Sadar municipality and nine wards of Comilla Sadar South municipality.

Comilla municipality was formed 147 years back.

The LGRD ministry has already prepared a gazette of demarcation of the city corporation. The election commission is supposed to get the gazette Sunday.

If everything goes well as per the plan, CCC election is going to “make history” where 100 pc voters will cast their votes through EVM system.

In this election 169,000 voters will cast votes through 453 EVMs under 65 polling centres.

The election commissioner said, “The EC has decided to use EVM system more widely after it had successfully used it in NCC polls.”

“In the haats and bazars of Comilla, the EC will hold screening session on how to use the system to make the people acclimatized with EVM,” he added.

Sakhawat said, “At present, there are 700 EVMs with the election commission. Among them, a few were used in NCC polls. They also will be used in CCC polls if no case in respect of the machine is filed with the court within 30 days.”

The former army officer also told the journalists that detailed work plan for CCC polls might be finalized Monday.

According to the law the election must be held within January 5 next and the EC will announce election schedule in the third week of this month.

The election commissioner expressed fear that the election may be postponed if complexities arose over the demarcation of the city corporation or if any case was filed concerning the matter.

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