Kalpana Palma, a resident of Rajabazar, came to cast her vote at the Rotary Primary School voting centre at 9:30am.
The polling agent entered her voter ID number in the electric voting machine (EVM), and her photo and other information promptly appeared on the screen.
Next, she was asked to place her left thumb on the fingerprint chamber. However, the fingerprint did not match.
The assistant presiding officer tried repeatedly to find a match with her index fingers and thumbs. They even attempted to clean her finger tips with petroleum jelly and a wipe.
Unfortunately, there was no match for the woman.
As the situation puzzled them all, they sought help from Asit Baran, the centre’s presiding officer, who permitted the assistant presiding officer to manually fill up a form with her information and let her cast vote.
“The ballot will not appear on the monitor if the voter’s fingerprint does not match. For such cases, there is an alternative. We can activate her ballot on the EVM with my fingerprint, with permission from the presiding officer,” he said.
Thirty minutes on, the EVM was ready for use. But by this time, the confused Kalpana was unsure of how to use the machine inside the booth.
Then, a ruling party poling agent rushed inside the booth to guide her.
At 10am, two hours since voting started, the second vote was cast at room number one at Rotary Primary School polling centre.
Right next door was another polling centre, Naznin School. Till then, only one vote was cast in room five, out of 354 votes.
Visiting all voting rooms at two adjacent voting centres, the total number of votes cast was five.
Ruling party activists were seen roaming freely in the voting rooms, sometimes even entering the booths with the voters “to help” them cast their votes.
Till 10am, poling agents of the opposition parties were not seen.