Voting slowed down due to fingerprints complications

Voting has slowed down due to fingerprint-related complications in several polling centresMasud Rana

There are three polling centres in the Shaheed Smrity High School in Gazipur city. The entire college premise, from the main gate to voting booths, is crammed with voters.

Apart from the voters, the supporters of Awami League’s mayoral candidate and other candidates for the posts of councillors were seen moving freely in the polling centres wearing badges.

Out of the nine voting booths in this school, there were problems with the electronic voting machines in three.

Although presiding officer Mizanur Rahman claimed that the technicians solved the problem within minutes, the voting slowed down due to complications with the fingerprints creating long queues of voters outside the booths.

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Later, the gates in front of the booths were locked and only two to four persons were allowed to enter the booth from that time. The voters had to wait for a long time in the queue in the scorching heat.

A voter named Fazlul Haque said that he had been stuck in the queue for one and a half hours, but the queue didn’t move even a bit.

Another voter named Khandker Sirajul Islam said the polling officers couldn’t match his fingerprint despite trying several times. They told him to wait. Now he is confused whether he should wait or not.

The number of voters in this centre is 3,182. Some 390 votes were cast as of 10:00 am. There were long queues of voters outside the booth at the time.

A long queue of voters in front of the voting booth a polling centre of Chandna High School and College
Dipu Malakar

The scenario was the same in the Chandna High School and College centre as well. Visiting a booth in the centre, it was seen that a voter named Batashi was struggling to match her fingerprint despite trying twice. The polling officers brought a container of Vaseline and asked her to apply it on her finger and try again. But it didn’t work either. However, Nasima Begum, Batashi’s mother, was able to cast her vote in the first attempt.

Speaking to Prothom Alo, Batashi said, “The polling officers have told me that the lines of my palm have been erased. I will try again. As other voters were agitated with the delay, they have been given the chance ahead of me.”

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Atarjaan Bibi, 90, came to the polling centres with her two daughters-in-law. She said that she cast vote in every election. However, this was her first time with EVM. She faced a slight problem while casting her vote. However, others helped her from afar.

“I have cast my vote for the person of my choice,” she added.