The Election Commission will begin updating the voter list from May 15 across the country.
However, the commission is yet to finalise budget for the task. It had asked the National Identity Card wing to prepare it. The budget will be placed at the EC’s next meeting.
Sources said the NID wing presented a budget of around Tk59 crore at the commission meeting yesterday, but it was rejected. It has been asked to revise the proposal.
Chief Election Commissioner Kazi Rakibuddin Ahmad at a press conference yesterday said the task of updating the voter list would continue throughout the year in three phases. The EC would publish the draft list on January 2 next year.
“The information collectors will go door to door to collect information on the new voters. The existing voters, however, must go to their respective registration office,” the CEC said.
The EC officials said around 40 lakh new voters would be included in the new list. At present, the country has around 9.2 crore registered voters.
According to the existing law, it is mandatory to update the voter list between January 2 and 31 every year. “We could not begin the task this time due to unavoidable circumstances.”
Rakibuddin said: “In the first phase, we will update the list in around 200 upazilas. Then it will continue in other areas.”
On including the Rohingyas in the list, the CEC said the commission would form special committee in the Chittagong Hill Tracts to prevent their inclusion.
He also said it would need more time to provide smart cards for new voters since the IDEA project, funded by the World Bank, had been put on hold for two years.
The previous EC led by ATM Shamsul Huda updated the voter list in 2009. Before the 10th parliamentary poll, the incumbent commission began updating the voter list from March 10, 2012 which ended in January last year.
Source: Dhaka tribune