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2.30 crore new voters added

EC discloses draft voter list; total voters 10.40cr

The next parliamentary election will have 2.30 crore more voters than the election in 2008 had.

The current number of electorate is 10.40 crore, according to the draft voter list.

The Election Commission disclosed the draft voter list yesterday and said the final voter list would be published on January 31.

The data shows 2.30 crore people have been registered since the December 29, 2008, parliamentary election when 8.10 crore voters were eligible.

The country had 9.19 crore voters during the 10th national election held on January 5, 2014. Most of the political parties boycotted that polls and 153 lawmakers were elected uncontested.

Experts said the fresh voters will have an impact on the next parliamentary election and they could be the deciding factor.

Former election commissioner Brig Gen (retd) M Shakhawat Hossain said, “Basically people did not get the chance to cast their votes in the last parliamentary election. In last 10 years, people were deprived of exercising their franchise. So, if the next election became inclusive and competitive then the fresh voters will have an impact on the polls and those who did not get a chance to cast their votes will also play a crucial role.”

Abdul Alim, director of Election Working Group (EWG), said the huge number of voters would be the deciding factor in the next parliamentary election as they are young and they could think differently.

“The rate of the rise in the voter number is 2.5 percent which is good. But we believe that the voter list should be audited by independent party … . This process will increase the acceptability of the voter list and the whole electoral process.”

Meanwhile, Awami League Joint General Secretary Mahbubul Alam Hanif said, “It is not confirmed whether these voters will be a deciding factor in the next election. But I think their opinions will be well-thought out and well-judged as they are digitally advanced.”

EC acting secretary Helal Uddin Ahmed at a press conference in Nirbachan Bhaban yesterday said anyone with objections to the draft voter lists would have to contact the EC by January 17. The list is displayed at important places in districts, upazilas, and union parishads.

“The final voter list will be published on January 31 after settling the objections,” he said.

Information of 33,32,593 new voters were collected in 2017 and 9,62,296 in 2016, he said, adding that names of 17,48,934 deceased voters were removed.

Among the total voters, 5,24,62,865 are male and 5,15,89,018 female, Ahmed said.

The acting secretary said the new voters would not get any identity card right now but they would be given Smart NID card this year.