Electronic Voting Machine (EVM)
The Chairman of Onnorokom Group, Mahmudul Hasan Sohag, along with the Managing Director of the company ABul Hasan Liton, is demonstrating the features of EVM to Honorable Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina
Electronic Voting Machine is the most glorious recognition we have so far achieved. We developed this voting machine in joint venture with IICT, BUET. It is one of the leading products of Pi Labs Bangladesh Ltd. It has shown a new path of technology in home and abroad. It is a machine by which people can give their votes easily. In this system vote casting, counting and result publishing made far more convenient than the usual system.
Mahmudul Hasan Sohag, Chairman of Pi Labs Bangladesh Ltd, together with Bangladesh University of Engineering and Technology (BUET), invented the device. While studying Electrical and Electronic Engineering at the country's best engineering university, he along with his two classmates, Masum Habib and Rajib Mikail, met Dr Lutful Kabir, Director of Institute of Information and Communication Technology (IICT), and they decided that they would develop a voting machine. The IICT gave them a lab with all the required facilities. The trust of Dr Kabir was not in vain as the project was ready in three months and they were still studying in their third year.
First Developed EVM
Officers' Club Election:
After its first public demonstration in 2007, Officers Club Dhaka was the first organization to have used the EVM in their biennial election in the same year. Two years later, Officers Club again used the EVM, which attracted attention from the Election Commission.
|Demonstration of EVM in front of CEC||Public Demonstration of EVM|
|Dr. Atiur Rahman, the Governor of Bangladesh Bank, experiencing the EVM (officers Club, Dhaka)||Demonstration of EVM in front of the State Minister of Ministry of Science and Technology (officers Club, Dhaka)||People using EVM in Officers' Club Election|
|Successful Election in Officers' Club|
Chittagong City Corporation Election (2010):
EVM was first introduced in national level in the election of Chittagong City Corporation held in 2010. Chief Election Commissioner (CEC) ATM Shamsul Huda introduced the EVM in Zamalkhan ward as a pilot project. There was 80 machines used in 24 centers. He was saying the system can help ease the electoral process, quicker announcement of the result, lessening the number of post-polls violence, reducing the election management charges and administrative glitches which will meet the international standards.
Chittagong City Corporation Election 2010, Chittagong.
After Chittagong Corporation Election, Bangladesh Election Commission suggested some improvements into the EVM, which leads to a new design with international standards of EVM.
Comilla City Corporation Election (2011):
Bangladesh's smallest city corporation, Comilla City Corporation went to the vote without any ballot paper to mark the first full-fledged electronic election in Bangladesh. Comilla election was the first time when all voters of an election used machines to vote. The commission used 421 machines in 65 polling centers and almost all voters said voting with the machines was a lot easier and quicker. Polling officers too felt it easy to work with the machines. Also the contestants expressed their satisfaction with regard to the EVMs.
EC officials also said all credit was due to the voting machines that had let them publish the result in less than five hours after polling concluded. The quick announcement was possible as it was an all-EVM election, they claimed.
People casting their vote using EVM
Following the success, EVM has been successively operated in the election of Narayanganj City Corporation in 58 centers of three wards on October 30, 2011 and in 31 centers of Norshingdi Municipality election.
|Chief Election Commissioner ATM Shamsul Huda said, "When the machines are used in all elections, we will be able to stop using tonnes of paper that waste a huge amount of public money."
He also said, "Dispelling fear and doubt, the electronic voting machines have proved reliable in the Comilla and Narayanganj polls."
|Election commissioner Sohul Hossain said, "In EVM, there is no chance of delaying the vote count, or changing the result under the cover of delayed announcement."
He said: "The EVMs' success in the polls proves that the people have accepted this technology. In future, the system will also be used at the local level."
On the next general elections, the EC chief said, "2014 is a long way away. It will be the decision of the next Election Commission and the people. But we are totally convinced by the machines."