We are surprised that the Executive Committee of the National Economic Council (ECNEC) has so expeditiously approved tens of billions of taka to purchase thousands of EVMs (Electronic Voting Machines) that are planned to be used in the next election due to be held in 2024. It makes little sense because the next election is over five years away.
There's widespread skepticism—and rightly so—among stakeholders as far as EVM is concerned. The opposition parties have already made it clear that they are opposed to the idea of using EVMs in the upcoming election. In fact, there's opposition within the commission itself. Even the prime minister opined that there should not be any rush in this regard. Only a few countries in the world use electronic voting machines. Even then, there is a debate as to how secure and reliable they are.
It's still uncertain whether the EVMs could be used in 2024. The priority for the election commission should be to ensure that the upcoming general election is held in a free and fair manner and that all eligible political parties partake in the election. Therefore, the EC would be well-advised to concentrate on the upcoming election instead of spearheading the procurement of EVMs which might just prove to be a massive waste of taxpayers' money.
The EC should do more research, hold trials, and seek opinion of independent experts on EVMs. If it's still convinced that these machines are reliable, it can take steps to convince major political parties. Should they agree, the authorities may then start the process to procure EVMs.