Dhaka, Dec 23 (UNB) - Around 3,300 members of Bangladesh Army have been engaged for providing various types of technical support, including training, for using Electronic Voting Machines (EVMs) in polling stations of six constituencies in the 11th parliamentary elections. The Election Commission through a lottery picked six constituencies -- Dhaka-6 and 13, Chattogram-9, Rangpur-3, Khulna-2 and Satkhira-2 -- to use EVMs for the first time in the forthcoming general election. The number of polling centres under the six constituencies is 845. Sources at the Election Commission office said the total number of voters are 21,24,411 under the six constituencies, where 4,750 EVMs will be used for casting votes. Besides, same EVMs will be kept ready in the poling centres for emergency backup. Two control rooms have been set up—one at the EC office and another at the Armed Forces Division (AFD) -- to ensure smooth functioning of EVMs. Army members are discharging their duties from the AFD control room, according to the sources. Centrally, the EC has been conducting its overall activities for EVM poling centres through a high-powered technical team under its Information Communication Technology division. EC officials said one technical support team consisting of three army members—one corporal, two lance corporal/ sainik or equivalent rank-- will provide technical support in each polling centre. A total of 2,535 army men will provide technical support in 845 voting centers. One mobile technical team, consisting of three members—one sergeant, two corporal/lance corporal or sainik equivalent—will be engaged to collect information from the technical support team from five poling centres each. A total of 507 army men will be involved in the task. One mobile monitoring team, consisting of three members--one Junior Commission Officer (JCO), two sergeants/ lence corporal or equivalent –will collect information from 15 voting centres each. A total of 169 army men will carry out the task. One team, consisting three members—one major/captain/ lieutenant, one JCO and one Corporal/Lance Corporal or equivalent rank –will monitor activities of 50 polling centres each. A total of 51 army officers and members will monitor the 845 polling centres dividing into 17 teams in coordination with assistant returning officer or Upazila election officers. A high-powered team consisting five members—one major, two captains/lieutenants, one JCO, one sergeant, one corporal/lance corporal or sainik—will monitor all the polling centres under one constituency.
A total of 30 officers and members will monitor the activities of all others teams dividing into six teams, which will discharge duties in coordination with respective returning officers.
On December 13, the Election Commission sent a letter to the AFD seeking army deployment to provide support in EVM voting centres.
Besides, adequate army personnel will be deployed across the country on December 24 as striking force to keep the law-and-order situation under control before, during and after the election. They will perform their duties till January 2.