The Election Commission is mulling over using the electronic voting machines in the national elections riding on its overwhelming success in the Comilla city polls. Bangladesh’s smallest city corporation went to the vote on Thursday without any ballot paper to mark the first full-fledged electronic election in Bangladesh. The electronic machines were experimentally used in Chittagong and Narayanganj city corporation elections.
Citizens Committee candidate Monirul Haque Sakku, an expelled BNP leader, claimed a landslide victory and became the first mayor of Comilla with 65,577 votes, while his nearest rival ruling Awami League-backed Afzal Khan got 36,471 votes. During the daylong ballot, where a total of 169,273 voters cast their votes at 421 polling booths of the 65 polling centres from 8am to 4pm, both voters and the contestants expressed their satisfaction with regard to the EVMs.
EC officials also said all credit was due to the voting machines that had let them publish the result in less than five hours after polling concluded. The quick announcement was possible as it was an all-EVM election, they claimed.
Election commissioner Sohul Hossain said, “In EVM, there is no chance of delaying the vote count, or changing the result under the cover of delayed announcement.”
He told bdnews24.com: “The EVMs’ success in the polls proves that the people have accepted this technology. In future, the system will also be used at the local level.”