Fingerprints and personal information of all registered voters of the country are stored in the server (database) of the Election Commission. If someone wants to be a voter for the second time, he should be caught immediately. But many are being registered as voters more than once.
The Election Commission (EC) has identified 5 lakh 29 thousand 607 dual voters from 2008 to February this year. In other words, these people have become voters twice, they have two national identity cards. This information has been known from EC sources.
The identification of this huge number of dual voters has raised questions about voter registration management. Multiple election experts have said that if this continues, there will be as much controversy over the reliability of the voter list as before.
The EC is also questioning the reliable voter list. This is due to the weakness of their management. It is important to investigate and take strict action against those involved.
Badiul Alam Majumder, Editor, Sujan
Taking bank loans with false information, embezzling other people’s property; Many people use national identity cards through forgery to take various illegal benefits including unethical pension and freedom fighter allowance. And this identity card is obtained by being a voter.
An EC official, speaking on condition of anonymity, told Prothom Alo that most of those who had taken two identity cards had their identity cards invalidated (locked). Many of the voters may not have understood that they have become voters in two places twice. Again, many have given different names, addresses, dates of birth in two places — they have done so to take illegal advantage. So far 1,058 such people have been identified. The EC has filed cases against 556 people till last January.
According to the Voter List Act and the National Identity Registration Act, it is a punishable offense to be a voter more than once, to give false or distorted information or to conceal information intentionally or knowingly in order to obtain a national identity card. There is a provision of jail-fine for this crime. Again, if a registration officer is found guilty of any act or intentional deviation by neglecting his duties without any reasonable cause, he also has the provision of jail-penalty.
The issue of dual voters is scheduled to be discussed at a meeting of the Election Commission on Thursday.
EC officials said that in order to be a voter, a person now has to give 10 fingerprints and an Irish (eyeball) out of the required documents. Initially, four fingerprints of two hands were taken. Whether the fingerprint is already on the EC server is cross-matched (verified). This work is done automatically on the central server. If the imprint on the EC’s server does not match the imprint, the National Identity Registration Division approves the imprint.
EC officials said that in some cases, national identity cards were issued by registering as a voter before completing the fingerprint verification work. Many people use the fingerprints of others instead of using their own fingerprints in the conspiracy of the data entry operator to get a fake identity card for the second time. Or just take the six fingerprints that weren’t taken before. As a result, this fingerprint does not match the fingerprint on the central server.
The reporter went to the office of the Director General of the National Identity Registration Division of the EC Humayun Kabir Khandaker on Wednesday to get a statement on the matter. However, considering the situation of Kovid-19, the Director General did not meet. When a written question was asked through his personal officer, the director general said through that officer that he was not willing to speak on the matter.
Badiul Alam Majumder, editor of Citizens for Good Governance (Sujan), told Prothom Alo that during the commission headed by MA Aziz in 2005-6, there were allegations that there were more than one crore fake voters in the voter list. It rolled up to the high court. The next time the High Court directed the voter list to be photographed. A foreign company has examined the work and said the list is almost accurate. But now it is seen that there are more than 5 lakh dual voters. It’s incredible. They are also questioning the reliable voter list. The EC cannot avoid its responsibility. This is due to the weakness of their management. It is important to investigate and take strict action against those involved.