• Friday, Apr 03, 2020
  • Last Update : 12:30 am

EVM unable to read fingerprints of senior voters

  • Published at 12:47 pm February 1st, 2020
Electronic Voting Machines (EVM) were used in the Khulna city polls last month
File photo of Electronic Voting Machines (EVM) Mehedi Hasan/Dhaka Tribune

Presiding officers said higher authorities have been informed regarding the issue

Voters in the elections to Dhaka North City Corporation (DNCC) and Dhaka South City Corporation (DSCC) faced difficulties casting their votes at polling centres using electronic voting machines (EVMs).

Some 30 elderly voters at different polling stations in Dhaka's Rampura have been unable to cast their vote as the EVMs could not read their fingerprints. 

Senior voters were struggling to vote using EVMs at polling stations at Darus Salam Jame Masjid and Jamia Anwarul Uloom Madrasa (polling stations 732 and 733), and East Rampura High School in Rampura, on Saturday.

The presiding officers said they endeavoured to exercise their franchise once more after washing their hands but the machines could not read their fingerprints even then.

Presiding Officer of polling centre number 732, GM Maksudul Islam, and number 733, Noman Chowdhury, confirmed that elderly voters were having trouble with fingerprints on the voting machine.

They said higher authorities have been informed regarding the issue. 

Also, polling agents of BNP candidates were not seen at these polling centres. The presiding officers said BNP candidates did not provide a list of their agents and they did not contact them either.  

Noman Chowdhury said voter turnout was also low at these polling centres. 

Only 120 votes of 1,981 voters were cast at  polling station 733 up until 0am.

EVMs at Bhashantek School and College polling centres also showed problems for voters in casting their vote. 

Assistant Presiding Officer of polling station number 528, Saidur Rahman, told Dhaka Tribune that the cable of the voting machine at his station was not working. 

Presiding Officer Uday Sanker Das said they have a team to fix technical issues and the machine can run without power supply for 12 hours. 

A 50 year old voter, Rokeya Begum, said the machine could not recognize her fingerprint though she tried a few times.

Quazi Md Fazlul Haque, presiding officer of polling station number 529, said a technical team came to assist Rokeya Begum and eventually she cast her vote.

The Presiding Officer of polling station number 526, Md Manjurul Haque, said: "We have got no direction yet from the Election Commission whether we will submit a report or not about the problems we experienced here."