The Election Commission of Bangladesh on Friday embarked on a countrywide drive to enlist eligible voters in the electoral roll ahead of the 12th parliamentary polls.
The data of potential voters and deceased voters will be collected in four phases. In the first phase, enumerators will go for door-to-door data collection till 9 June in 139 upazilas of 64 districts.
During the drive, the data of eligible voters who were born on or before 1 January 2005, will be collected to publish the latest electoral roll on 2 March 2023.
Besides, the enumerators will collect the data of youths who were born before 2 January 2007, but would be eligible to cast their ballot in 2024 and 2025.
During the data collection campaign, the existing voters can apply for updating their address.
Alongside the eligible voters, the enumerators will also collect the data of deceased voters to drop their names from the voter list.
Chief Election Commissioner Kazi Habibul Awal unveiled the data collection drive at Savar Upazila Parishad auditorium in the morning.
Besides, four election commissioners unveiled the programme in four districts -- Manikganj, Sirajganj, Khulna and Shariatpur.
Since the data is being collected to update the country's voter list for the next three years -- 2023, 2024 and 2025, the Election Commission has estimated a 7.5% voter growth following the campaign.
In 2019, the EC last collected the field-level data of eligible voters to update the voter list for three years -- 2020, 2021 and 2022.
If anyone wants to be enrolled in the voter list, the person needs to have a 17-digit online birth registration certificate, academic certificates (if applicable), and photocopies of national identity card of father or mother and that of utility bills.
This time, some 56,000 enumerators and 11,300 supervisors have been appointed to glean the field-level data to update the voter list. An enumerator on an average will collect data of 180 potential voters.
There would be union-level registration centres in upazilas and ward-level registration centres in cities and municipalities to collect biometric data --pictures and fingerprints — of the eligible voters. The aspirants will be given print copies of their data during the collection.
In order to prevent the Rohingya refugees from enrolling into the voter list, the EC has taken a special cautionary measure for 32 particular areas in Chattogram.
The voter registration forms will be scrutinised by special committees in the 32 special areas. Besides, the Rohingya database containing their biometrics will be used during the voter list updation programme, UNB has learnt.
Currently, the number of voters in the country is some 11.33 crore (precisely 113,287,010). The voters include 57,689,529 males, 55,597,027 females and 454 transgenders.