In a move to digitalize the electoral system, the Election Commission has decided to buy 40,000 tablet computers ahead of the 11th parliamentary polls due in December this year.
The Tk46.5 crore decision was taken during a recent meeting of the Committee on Application of Information Technology in National Identity Cards, Voter Lists and Election Management.
The committee earmarked constituencies where it will be possible to use the tablets to conduct electoral activities in a more transparent, flexible way.
“These computers will be used for accepting nomination papers from candidates, storing their data, recruiting electoral officials, appointing observers, and for communication between the headquarters and field offices,” Election Commission Secretary Helal Uddin Ahmed told the Dhaka Tribune.
Helal said the tablets will be given a trial run in the forthcoming elections to five city corporations on an experimental basis.
“We will decide whether to use them in the parliamentary polls,” he added.
The city corporation elections will be held in Rajshahi, Khulna, Barisal, Sylhet and Gazipur city by July, while schedules for the Khulna and Gazipur city elections will be announced on March 31.
According to Election Commission officials, around Tk46.5 crore has been allocated for the digitalization process. Of the amount, Tk42 crore will be spent on the computers and the remaining Tk4.5 crore for the necessary software to run them.
An Election Commission official who preferred to remain anonymous said the tablet computers will be used in the country’s 40,000 polling centres during the election.
“We will need at least one computer for each centre,” he said.