EC dashboard records 28% voter turnout

দৈনিক আলোড়ন
EC dashboard records 28% voter turnout
Massive voter apathy in Bangladesh leads to lowest turnout in decades.

The 12th Jatiya Sangsad election in Bangladesh appears to have seen the lowest turnout in decades, data from the Election Commission’s (EC) monitoring dashboard suggests. The EC dashboard, accessed by Netra News at the EC headquarters in Dhaka, recorded the turnout to be 28% as of 9 PM Bangladesh time, five hours after the voting ended on January 7th.

According to the dashboard, the highest voter turnout was reported in Khulna where 32% of the total voters turned out to vote, followed by Barisal (31%), Mymensingh (30%), Chattagram (28%), Rangpur (27%), and Rajshahi (27%). Dhaka and Sylhet were the divisions with the lowest turnout — 26% and 23% respectively.

EC dashboard

The division-wise figures were recorded throughout the day based on direct reporting by election officials across the country, who used a specialised app — Kopot — to send centre-wise vote casting data to the EC headquarters after every two hours.

Election officials across the country used Kopot to send vote casting data to the EC headquarters.

This is the first time the EC deployed the app to streamline the monitoring of voting patterns in a general election. The first batch of data was received by the commission around 10 AM and the last batch around 6 PM, an election official explained to Netra News.


Turnout confusion

The Chief Election Commissioner (CEC), Kazi Habibul Awal, initially told a press briefing around 5:30 PM that the estimated voter turnout was around 28%, “Regarding the percentage [of vote cast], information was provided to you. I will speak about this. I cannot provide you with an accurate percentage right now. What we got at this point is around 28%, that is the national average.”

He was soon interrupted by some officials — including the government-appointed secretary of the commission — who dictated to him to say the election turnout stood at more than or equal to 40%. The conversation was recorded and broadcast live on dozens of satellite television channels.

The visibly confused CEC then went on to claim that the voter turnout was “more or less” 40%. He also claimed that they are yet to receive the total data in their dashboard. Later, he admitted that he did not understand the math and he thinks the “40% turnout [figure] is reliable”.

Lowest turnout in decades

With only a 28% turnout, despite widespread ballot stuffing allegations, the 2024 election has seen the lowest voter turnout since the one-sided election of February 1996 which was boycotted by Awami League and its allies. This falls far below the 50% turnout the ruling Awami League party was aiming for in this election.

1996-2024: Voter turnout in Jatiya Sangsad elections.

Journalist Redwan Ahmed contributed to this report.