Sixty-eight years old Shahidul Islam of Mohammadpur for the first time cast his votes on Electronic Voting Machine (EVM) in the Dhaka City Corporation election 2020 at 10:13am. Like Shahidul, thousands of voters of all ages were found to be highly enthusiastic waiting in long queues in the gate of the voting center located in the western part of the city.
Similar crowds of voters were also found in voting centres during visits by this correspondent to the capital’s Azimpur, Lalbagh, Mohammadpur, Dhanmondi, Mirpur, Khilgaon, Gulshan, Tejgaon areas. Presiding officer at Mohammadpur Masud Haider talking to Bangladesh Post said, “ We have witnessed a rush of voters in the morning. As the day matured, many more voters were turning in at the centre.”
Rukshana Begum, who also voted using EVM at Mohammadpur female voting center, expressed her satisfaction over use of hassle free voting. She said, “I was worried if I would be able to use the voting machine. When I entered and used it it appeared that it was a simple and user-friendly voting system. Thanks God, my fingerprint matched. It took only two minutes to cast my vote.”
Meanwhile, vigilance on voting centres were strict. Dhaka Division Magistrates and the security forces Broder Guard Bangladesh (BGB), Rapid Action Bangladesh (RAB) continued their patrolling till end of the voting. Returning officer of the Dhaka South City Corporation (DSCC), Abdul Baten, said, "Whether the polling officer or the law enforcement officer, no one in the center has been told that no agent has been fired or not allowed to come to any center."
He added, “If anyone can make a specific complaint, we will take action.” He said this at an election control center at Shilpakala Academy on Saturday afternoon. The official also said, "It is very difficult to take action on a common complaint. Because specific complaints have to be lodged about when and who has been expelled. Whether there has been an agent involved at all If they are not specified, action cannot be taken. However, in the centers we went to, they said that all candidates have agents.”
Rafikul Islam of Tejgaon area came to the polling station with hopes that he would vote for the first time on the Electronic Voting Machine (EVM). But he did not get chance to vote in the EVM at the center. He alleged that another person had already voted for him by pressing the EVM button on his behalf to help him vote.
He said, "I will press the button myself. I am voting for the first time on EVM. However, the person standing next to me told me that my vote was already cast. It has been alleged that some finger mismatch and untoward incidents of clash between supports occurred in some centers in the south and north while voting in two city corporations in Dhaka on Saturday.
In the most of polling centers except ruling party no other party candidates polling agents were not found near center. Over 54 lakhs voters - 3,035,621 in DNCC and 2,767,488 in DSCC – had opprtinity utilized the opportunity to exercise their democratic right to choose city boss.
The number of polling stations is 1,349 in 54 wards of the DNCC while 1,124 in 75 wards of the DSCC polls. The last elections to both the city corporations of the capital were held on 28 April 2015.