Enumerators yesterday started door-to-door visits in 135 upazilas to collect citizens’ data to update the voter list.
They will visit homes till May 13 in the first phase, said Election Commission officials.
Any citizen born on or before January 1, 2001 is eligible to get enlisted as a voter.
Chief Election Commissioner KM Nurul Huda launched the programme at an event at the Rajbari deputy commissioner’s office.
Huda said Rohingyas would not be able to include their names in the voter list by concealing their identities. “Rohingyas will be identified through scrutiny as the administration has their fingerprints.”
SM Asaduzzaman, EC joint secretary and director (public relations), said data of citizens who were born on or before January 1, 2002, 2003 and 2004 would also be collected and they would gradually be included in the electoral roll after reaching the age of 18.
People who have changed their addresses before the launch of the process will have to fill up a specific form provided by the EC with their new addresses.
They will also have to submit necessary documents to the respective upazila and thana election offices to this end.
The EC has also taken some special measures to prevent Rohingyas from becoming voters, said Brig Gen Mohammad Sidul Islam, director general at the EC’s National Identity Card Wing.
Bangladesh already has a list of Rohingyas as they have been brought under biometric registration. The EC would cross-check the list with the updated voter list to identify Rohingyas, he added.
Special committees were formed in 32 upazilas of Bandarban, Cox’s Bazar, Khagrachhari and Rangamati to implement the EC’s plan.
Yesterday, election commissioners Rafiqul Islam, Kabita Khanam and Brig Gen (retd) Shahadat Hossain Chowdhury joined programmes in Chittagong, Sylhet and Savar and EC Secretary Helal Uddin Ahmed in Rajshahi.
A total of 50,000 enumerators will work to complete the task.
Members of the transgender community will be able to register their names in the voter list as Hijra. After collecting information through visiting households, collection of fingerprints will continue from May 25 to October 30.
A draft of the updated voter list will be published on January 2 next year. If the EC receives any complaint about it, it will publish the final electoral roll on January 31.
There are now around 10.42 crore voters in the country.
Our Faridpur correspondent contributed to this report.