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Ballot papers to be sent at centers on voting day morning

Staff Reporter:

The Election Commission has asked returning officers (ROs) to send the ballot papers for the January 7 national elections to all polling centers, excepting those in remote and hard-to-reach areas, at morning of the voting day.
“Respective returning officers will have to make plans for delivering the ballot papers on the morning of polling day and get those approved by the Election Commission by December 31, 2023,” the EC said in a circular yesterday.
According to the circular, the ROs should determine the timing of delivery of ballot papers to polling centres located in hilly, haor, baor, char or island areas or areas far from the district or upazila headquar-ters or metropolitan areas.
Talking to reporters at EC office, Chief Election Commissioner (CEC) Kazi Habibul Awal, “As far as possible, the ballots will reach polling centers on the morning of polling day, which will help increase the transparency of voting.
“The polling agents will have to be there to see that the polling boxes are empty and the ballot papers reached the polling station in the morning,” he said while taking to reporters after a meeting with Japa-nese Ambassador to Bangladesh Iwama Kiminori at the EC.
He said the EC has taken this step as there was demand for it from many. It will also increase transpar-ency, he added.
The CEC said it would not be possible to deliver ballot papers to polling centers located in hilly, haor, baor, char or island areas or areas far from the district or upazila headquarters or metropolitan areas in the morning of the voting day. To reach ballot papers to remote areas, choppers will be used, he said, adding that in such cases, ROs will have take approval from the EC.
He said ballot boxes will be sent to polling centres 2 or 4 days ahead of the polling day.

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