DHAKA : The Election Commission (EC) has started bringing back all the 1,100 electronic voting machines (EVMs) from its field offices across the country to destroy the flawed ones, reports UNB.
A technical committee has been formed with experts from the Bangladesh University of Engineering and Technology (Buet) to examine how many EVMs have gone out of order.
Following the committee report, the Commission will destroy all the defective EVMs jointly made by Bangladesh Machine Tools Factory and Buet in 2009 and 2011. The EC has recently taken the decision considering that most of the six-year-old machines lost workability and it would not viable to repair these.
Besides, it will be difficult to fix any technical error if appears during the use of those in elections.
“Most of the EVMs have gone out of order. So, we’ve formed a technical team with our Buet experts to examine how many EVMs are not working,” EC acting secretary Helaluddin Ahmed said on Saturday.
“Now all the EVMs are being recollected from different field-level election offices to examine conditions of these machines. The Commission will destroy the faulty EVMs,” he told UNB.
The EC’s initiative will make uncertain the use of EVMs in the upcoming Rangpur City Corporation election, though it has a plan to use the machines on small scale in the polls, likely to be held by December next.
But, the EC acting secretary said the Commission still has the plan to use the EVMs in a ward of Rangpur City Corporation election.
The flawless EVMs will be used in the city election, Helaluddin added.
The ATM Shamsul Huda-led EC first used EVMs on pilot basis in a few polling stations in Chittagong City Corporation polls held in 2010.
Later, the EVMs were used partially in different local elections. In January, 2011, Comilla City Corporation election was fully held with EVMs. But technical errors appeared in a few EVMs during the Comilla city election, Narsingdi municipality by-polls (2012) and Rajshahi city election (2013).
However, the EC faced no major complexity in declaring election results due to big margins of difference in those elections. In 2012, the Kazi Rakibuddin Ahmad-led Commission decided not to use EVMs in the 10th national election due to the technical errors and strong oppositions from BNP and like-minded parties. Assuming office in February 2017, the incumbent commission said it has a plan to use electronic voting machines or digital voting machines (DVMs) in the next national election, but it depends on political consensus.
Chief Election Commissioner KM Nurul Huda has repeatedly said they will use the EVMs or DVMs if political parties reach a consensus on it.
But the possibility of a political consensus on the issue is very thin as BNP formally written to the CEC few months ago opposing any move to introduce the EVMs in the national election.
EC officials said the Commission will require some 3 lakh EVMs or DVMs to arrange the election fully based on the machines instead of ballot boxes.
They said there is no enough time to produce and experiment the huge number of machines before the election.