Voting in the elections to Rajshahi, Barishal and Sylhet city corporations began on Monday morning, according to UNB.
The balloting that started at 8:00am will continue till 4:00 pm without any break.
The city elections are the last major polls before the next general election expected to be held in December this year.
Five mayoral candidates are contesting the polls in Rajshahi, while seven mayoral contenders are running in Barishal and Sylhet each.
Among the mayoral candidates, Awami League’s AHM Khairuzzaman Liton and BNP’s Mosaddek Hossain Bulbul are considered as front-runners in Rajshahi, while AL’s Serniabat Sadiq Abdullah and BNP’s Mujibur Rahman Sarwar in Barishal and AL’s Badar Uddin Kamran and BNP’s Arifur Rahman in Sylhet.
In terms of security risks, there are 306 ‘important’ (vulnerable) polling stations out of 395 in the three city corporations.
A 24-member security team, comprising seven policemen with arms, three Battalion Ansar men with arms, two embedded Ansar with arms and 12 embedded Ansar/VDP members with sticks are protecting each ‘important’ (vulnerable) polling centre, while a 22-member security team guarding each normal polling station.
There are 114 ‘important’ polling stations out of 138 in Rajshahi City Corporation, while 80 ‘important’ stations out of 134 in Sylhet City Corporation and 112 ‘important’ stations out 123 in Barishal City Corporation.
Some 250 security teams of police, RAB, BGB, APBn and Ansar remain deployed either as mobile or striking force in Rajshahi, Barishal and Sylhet city corporations.
More than 200 teams of police, APBn and Ansar, and RAB were deployed as striking or mobile force in the election areas.
Besides, 44 platoons of Border Guard of Bangladesh (BGB) –-15 platoons in Rajshahi, 15 platoons in Barishal and 14 platoons in Sylhet -– were deployed in the polling areas.
Apart from these, an executive magistrate remains deployed in each of 87 general wards, while a judicial magistrate in each of 29 reserved wards in the three cities to take action against violation of the election code of conduct.
Instead of ballot papers, electronic voting machines (EVMs) are being used in 15 polling stations –11 polling stations in Barishal and two each in Rajshahi and Sylhet—to cast votes in the three city elections.
In Rajshahi city, five candidates are in the election race for the mayoral post, while there are 160 contestants for 30 general councillor posts and 52 women contenders for 10 reserved councillor posts.
A total of 318,138 voters can exercise their franchise through 138 polling stations in Rajshahi city.
In Barishal city, seven candidates are contesting the election for the mayoral post, while 95 candidates are there for 30 general councillor posts, and 34 women contenders for 10 reserved councillor posts.
A total of 242,166 voters are allowed to cast their votes under 123 polling stations in Barishal city.
In Sylhet city, seven candidates are running for the mayoral post, while 127 contestants are there for 27 general councillor posts and 66 women contenders for nine reserved councillor posts.
A total of 321,732 voters can exercise their voting rights through 134 polling stations in Sylhet city.
On 29 May last, the Election Commission announced the election schedules for the three city corporations.