Smart voting centres to pull voters

Emran Hossain Shaikh
Published : 09:30, May 30, 2019 | Updated : 14:54, May 30, 2019

Election Commission of BangladeshTo pull voters during election, the Election Commission, EC, will be establishing smart voting centres. On 18 June next, in the last stage of the upazila elections, six smart centres will be established as an experiment in six upazilas, EC sources have said.
It’s believed that Bangladesh has observed similar centres in India.
The upazilas that will have smart centres are: Cumilla main and south, Noakhali proper, Gazipur proper, Narayanganj port and Bijoynagar in Brahmanbaria.
The voting centres will have a large marquee to protect voters from the sweltering sun and rainfall; special sitting arrangements will be made for pregnant women and fresh water will be arranged.
At the voting room, a cardboard partition will be used instead of cloths.
Several EC officials say: “EC secretary Helaluddin Ahmed underlined election experience in India and the advantages given to the voters there. Later, based on the Indian model, planned to lunch smart voting centres in Bangladesh.”
At present, Tk 3000 is allotted for preparing each voting centre but for smart ones the cost will rise to Tk 50000.
EC secretary Helaluddin Ahmed, says: “We have seen smart centres abroad and found that voters are interested to vote in such centres that give preference to comfort and convenience.”
Apart from smart centres, EC will start to increase the use of EVMs.
In the next municipal election, voting time will be changed from the 8 am to 4 pm time slot to 9 am till 5 pm format.
The EC has already started online submission of forms, sending of results on line and using SMS to send voter numbers.