The Election Commission on Friday dispatched ballot papers amid tight security to returning officers in various districts for the January 5 parliamentary elections.
The commission started dispatching the ballot papers to various districts in the morning under strong escorts of police, Rab and BGB members for vote casting in the country’s 146 constituencies out of 300.
The ballot papers are supposed to reach 59 districts out of 64 by Saturday morning, sources at the EC secretariat said.
“All the other election materials have already been dispatched to the field. Ballot papers are also being sent to the returning officers today (Friday),” said Election Commissioner Abu Hafiz.
The EC sends letters signed by its deputy secretary Mohammad Shajahan Khan with ballot papers, instruments of laptops and software asking the returning officers and the district election officials to receive those.
Usually, ballot papers and election materials are dispatched under only police escort.
But, this time the commission has asked the Home Ministry, the Inspector General of Police and Directors General of BGB and Rab to employ adequate members from the three agencies during the transportation of ballot papers and election materials in the wake of widespread violence amid political turmoil.
EC officials said more than 4.38 crore ballot papers were printed against 4,36,86,41 voters in the 146 constituencies. Some 1000 additional ballot papers were printed for each of the constituencies.
This year nearly 4.83 crore voters out of the country’s 9,19,65,977 voters are being deprived of exercising their franchise as the commission does not need to go for balloting in 154 constituencies that got single candidates who are poised to be elected unopposed, as the BNP-led 18-party opposition is boycotting the polls.
The ballot papers are being dispatched from the BG Press, the Government Printing Press and the Security Printing Press in the capital.
Besides, helicopters will be used to carry election materials to and from remote areas before and after the election.
Apart from this, the commission has already sent a letter to the Armed Forces Division seeking a helicopter for the use of Chief Election Commissioner, election commissioners and EC high officials from January 1.
The five districts where the election will not be held on January 5 are Shariatpur, Madaripur, Chandpur, Joypurhat and Rajbari.
Source: UNB Connect