Many voters are facing difficulties in casting votes using electronic voting machines (EVM) in the ongoing Narayanganj City Corporation (NCC) polls.
At least four-five voters on average could not cast votes due to their fingerprints not matching with the Election Commission's (EC) data base in each of the eight booths in Ramnagar Government Primary School under Ward No. 26.
EC officials have asked the concerned voters to again come in the afternoon to exercise their right to franchise.
Bishwanath Shutrodhor, the presiding officer for polling centre no. 127 of Ward No. 26, said, "We are trying to solve the issue of fingerprints not matching.
"If they are unable to vote despite repeated attempts, we will allow them to exercise their franchise with the fingerprint of the designated presiding officer."
When asked how many people will be able to vote in this manner he said, "Some 1-2% voters can cast their votes through this method."
On the other hand, hundreds of female voters were seen queuing outside several voting centres expressing dissatisfaction over the "difficulties" of using EVMs.
During The Business Standard's visit to some polling centers in Chashara, Bandar and Siddhirganj areas of the city, it was found that female voters needed some 10-30 minutes to vote starting from the waiting line to pressing the buttons of the machine.
Shanti Chowdhury, a voter of Ward No. 12 of NCC said, "I voted for the councillor post at first, but when I pressed the button for selecting the mayoral candidate there was no green signal from the EVM.
"However, the polling officer told me that my vote was accepted".
"I found the use of EVM full of hassle, especially for females, as this is our first using the machine to vote," she added.
The same was seen at the voting centre in Fazlur Rahman High School where voters were taking too long to cast their votes as female and elderly voters were finding it very difficult to properly operate the EVMs.
Abdul Aziz, polling officer of the centre, said, "We are trying to explain how the machine works to the voters but not many are being able to comprehend. Only seven people were able to vote in the first hour of today's election in booth no. 1 of the centre."
Ziaur, who came to vote, told TBS, "I have been standing in line since 9 am and I have not been able to pay my vote yet."
Eighty-year-old Shamsul Haque, who came to vote at the Fazlur Rahman High School, said, "Before I used to stand in the line for few minutes and get done with my vote in a minute or so when ballots were used.
"But today I had to wait for about two hours in the line and it also took more time than usual to finalise my vote. I faced issues with my fingerprints. Had t use petroleum jelly to clean my fingers.
Faysal Kabir, presiding officer of the voting centre set up at ABC School, said, "In my centre female voters are taking some time to cast their votes. The voting pace here is slow as they are not that familiar with EVMs."
Echoing Faysal Kabir, Mrinal Chandra Das, a polling agent at Booth 4 of centre no. 14 under Ward No. 2, said, "One person has to be present near the booth for females at all times so that they don't make any mistakes."
Another voter, Shahida Begum, while speaking with TBS, said that her 70-year-old mother-in-law, Chandra Banu, did not know anything about EVMs thus it took her quite some time to vote.
Meanwhile, no polls-related clashes or irregularities have been reported so far. Voters have expressed satisfaction over the overall arrangement and environment of the city polls.
Zarina Begum, a resident of Maura Potti could not remember her actual age but she smiled after casting her vote and raised her inked thumb.
"I have no one at my home, no child no relative but I have come to cast my vote and it is done", she said.
When asked how the experience was with EVM she said, "Machines are always difficult for us, especially at the age of 80-90. But I was able to cast my vote following the instructions given by the [election] officials."