(3) If a person is at the same time a candidate for more than 58[three] constituencies, all his nomination papers in respect of all the constituencies shall be void].
- (1) The candidates, their election agents, proposers and seconders, and one other person authorised in this behalf by each candidate may attend the scrutiny of nomination paper and the Returning Officer shall give them reasonable opportunity for examining all nomination papers 59[delivered or forwarded to him under Article 12].
(2) The Returning Officer shall, in the presence of the persons attending the scrutiny under clause (1), examine the nomination papers and decide any objection raised by any such person to any nomination.
(3) The Returning Officer may, either of his own motion or upon any objection, conduct such summary enquiry as he may think fit and reject a nomination paper if he is satisfied that-
(a) the candidate is not qualified to be elected as a member;
(b) the proposer or the seconder is not qualified to subscribe to the nomination paper;
(c) any provision of Article 12 or Article 13 has not been complied with; or
(d) the signature of the proposer or the seconder is not genuine: Provided that-
(i) the rejection of a nomination paper shall not invalidate the nomination of a candidate by any other valid nomination paper;
(ii) the Returning Officer shall not reject a nomination paper on the ground of any defect which is not of a substantial nature and may allow any such defect to be remedied forthwith; and
(iii) the Returning Officer shall not enquire into the correctness or validity of any entry in the electoral roll.
60[(3a) If any person subscribes to more than one nomination papers, all such nomination papers, except the one found valid, shall not be required to be scrutinized.]
(4) The Returning Officer shall endorse on each nomination paper his decision accepting or rejecting it 61[***] and shall 62[***] record a brief statement of the reason therefor.
63[(5) If a candidate or any bank is aggrieved by the decision of the Returning Officer, he may prefer an appeal to the Commission within the prescribed period and any order passed on such appeal shall be final.]
- (1) The Returning Officer shall, after the scrutiny of nomination papers, prepare and publish in the prescribed manner a list of candidates who have been validly nominated.
(2) In case an appeal against rejection of a nomination paper has been accepted by the Commission, the list of validly nominated candidates shall be revised accordingly.
64[16. (1) Any validly nominated candidate may, by notice in writing signed by him and delivered, on or before the withdrawal day, to the Returning Officer, either by such candidate in person or by an agent authorised in this behalf in writing by such candidate, withdraw his candidature.
(2) Where more than one candidate are nominated in the same constituency by a registered political party, the chairman or secretary or a person holding the same rank of the party shall inform, by notice in writing signed by him and delivered, either by himself or by any other person authorized by him in this behalf on or before the withdrawal day, to the Returning Officer, about the final nomination of a candidate and the other candidate of that party shall be ceased to be a candidate.
(3) A notice of withdrawal under clause (1) or final nomination under clause (2), as the case may be, shall, in no circumstances, be open to recall or cancellation.
(4) Upon receipt of a notice of withdrawal under clause (1) and final nomination under clause (2), the Returning Officer shall, if he is satisfied that the signature on the notice is that of the candidate or of the chairman or secretary or person holding the same rank of the party, as the case may be, cause a photocopy of the notice to be affixed at some conspicuous place in his office.
(5) The Returning Officer shall, on the day next following the withdrawal day prepare and publish, in the prescribed manner, a list of contesting candidates.]
- (1) If a validly nominated candidate who has not withdrawn his candidature dies, 65[or if his candidature is cancelled under clause (2) of Article 91E,] the Returning Officer shall, by public notice, terminate the proceedings relating to that election.
(2) Where proceedings relating to an election have been terminated under clause (1), fresh proceedings shall be commenced in accordance with the provisions of this Order as if for a new election 66[:
Provided that it shall not be necessary for the other contesting candidates to file fresh nomination papers or make a further deposit under Article 13.]
- Where the proceedings relating to nomination, scrutiny or withdrawal cannot, for reasons beyond the control of the Returning Officer, take place on the day appointed therefor, he may postpone or adjourn such proceedings and shall, with the approval of the Commission, by public notice fix another day for the proceedings so postponed or adjourned and, if necessary, also the day or days subsequent proceedings.
- (1) Where, after scrutiny under Article 14, only one person remains as a validly nominated candidate for election as a member from a constituency or where after withdrawal under Article 16 only one person is left as a contesting candidate, the Returning Officer shall, by public notice, declare such candidate to be elected to the seat:
Provided that if after scrutiny any candidate indicates that he intends to make an appeal under clause (5) of Article 14 against the rejection of his nomination paper, no person shall be declared elected uncontested until the period prescribed for filling such appeal has expired and no such appeal has been filed or, where an appeal is filed, until the disposal of such appeal.
(2) The Returning Officer shall submit to the Commission a return of the election in respect of which he has made a declaration under clause (1).
(3) The Commission shall publish in the official Gazette the name of the returned candidate.
- (1) If there are more contesting candidates than one in respect of any constituency, the Returning Officer shall-
67[(a) allocate, in the case of a contesting candidate set up by a registered political party, the symbol reserved for that party by the Commission under this Order or the rules 68[:
Provided that the Commission may, on an application made to it in this behalf within three days after the publication of the notification under clause (1) of Article 11, allot one of the prescribed symbols to the candidate of a combination of two or more registered political parties who have agreed to set up joint candidates for election;]
(aa) allocate, 69[in the case of independent] contesting candidates, subject to any direction of the Commission, one of the prescribed symbols to each such contesting candidate; and in so doing shall, so far as possible, have regard for any preference indicated by the candidate;] 70[and]
(b) publish in such manner as the Commission may direct the names of contesting candidates arranged in the alphabetical order specifying against each the symbol allocated to him 71[.]
(2) The Returning Officer shall arrange to exhibit prominently at each polling station the name and symbol of each contesting candidate.
- (1) A candidate may appoint a person qualified to be elected as a member to be his election agent.
(2) The appointment of an election agent may, at any time, be revoked in writing by the candidate and, when it is so revoked or the election agent dies, another person may be appointed by the candidate to be his election agent.
(3) When an election agent is appointed, the candidate shall send to the Returning Officer a notice in writing of the appointment containing the name, father’s name and address of the election agent.
(4) Where no appointment of an election agent is made under this section, a candidate shall be deemed to be his own election agent and shall so far as the circumstances permit, be subject to the provisions of this Order both as a candidate and as an election agent.
- 73[(1) The contesting candidate or his election agent, may, before the commencement of the poll, appoint for each polling booth of a polling station not more than one polling agent and shall give notice thereof in writing to the Presiding Officer.]
(2) The appointment of a polling agent under clause (1) may at any time be revoked by the candidate or his election agent and, when it is so revoked or the polling agent dies, another person may be appointed by the candidate or the election agent to be a polling agent; and a notice of such appointment shall be given to the Presiding Officer.
74[(3) The Presiding Officer shall not accept a polling agent unless he wears an identity card granted by the person appointing him containing his name and the name of the candidate for whom he is appointed as a polling agent.]
- Where any act or thing is authorised by this Order to be done in the presence of the candidate, an election agent or a polling agent, the failure of such person to attend at the time and place appointed for the purpose shall not invalidate any act or thing otherwise validly done 75[:
Provided that the Returning Officer or the Presiding Officer, as the case may be, shall, as far as practicable, endeavour to ensure the attendance of the said person at the time of doing the said act or thing:
Provided further that, if a candidate or his election agent or polling agent is found absent at the time of doing the said act or thing, the Returning Officer or the Presiding Officer, as the case may be, shall immediately try to find out the reason of such absence and record the fact and communicate it to the Commission together with his comments thereon, and shall endeavour to ensure such attendance.]
- The Returning Officer shall, subject to any direction of the Commission, fix the hours during which the poll shall be taken and give public notice or the hours so fixed.
- (1) The Presiding Officer of a polling station shall stop the poll and inform the Returning Officer that he has done so if-
(a) the poll at the polling station is, at any time, so interrupted or obstructed for reason beyond the control of the Presiding Officer that it cannot be resumed during the polling hours fixed under Article 24: or
(b) any ballot box used at the polling station is unlawfully taken out of the custody of the Presiding Officer, or is accidentally or intentionally destroyed or lost, or is damaged or tampered with to such an extent that the result of the poll at the polling station cannot be ascertained.
(2) Where a poll has been stopped under clause (1), the Returning Officer shall immediately report the circumstances to the Commission and the Commission shall direct a fresh poll at that polling station, unless it is satisfied that the result of the election has been determined by the polling station, taken with the results of the polling at other polling stations in the same constituency.
(3) Where the Commission orders a fresh poll under clause (2), the Returning Officer shall, with the approval of the Commission┬¼-
(a) appoint a day for a fresh poll and fix the place at which and the hours during which such fresh poll shall be taken; and
(b) give public notice of the day so appointed and the place and hours so fixed.
(4) At a fresh poll taken under clause (3) at a polling station, all electors entitled to vote thereat shall be allowed to vote and no vote cast at the poll stopped under clause (1) shall be counted; and the provisions of this Order and the rules and orders made thereunder shall apply to such fresh poll.
- An election under this Order shall be decided by secret ballot 76[or by using EVM or by both] and, subject to the provisions of Article 27, every elector shall cast his vote by inserting, in accordance with the provisions of this Order, in the ballot box, a ballot paper in the prescribed form.
77[26A. (1) Notwithstanding anything contained in any other provision of this Order or rules made thereunder, to verify the identity of elector with reference to the electoral roll and to cast, record and count vote, EVM may be adopted in one or more or all polling stations of such constituency or constituencies as the Commission may, having regard to circumstances of each case, specify.
(2) Where EVM is adopted under clause (1), the verification of identity of elector with reference to the electoral roll and the casting, recording and counting of votes by EVM shall be in such a manner as may be prescribed.
(3) Any reference to the expression “ballot box” or “ballot paper” in this Order or any rules made thereunder shall, save as otherwise provided, be construed as including a reference to such EVM wherever such EVM is used.
26B. (1) The Commission may approve an EVM which-
(a) is stand-alone non-networked;
(b) is neither computer controlled nor connected to the internet or any network and cannot be hacked;
(c) is electronically protected to prevent any tampering or manipulation;
(d) cannot be altered or tampered when approved programme (software) is used;
(e) does not have any radio frequency (RF) receiver and data decoder;
(f) accepts only specially encrypted and dynamically coded data;
(g) is developed by a selected group of Engineers appointed by the Commission;
(h) ensures the secrecy and security of the source code of programme (software);
(i) adopts the device or devices specified by the Commission; and
(j) fulfils any other criteria specified by the Commission.
(2) The Commission may approve a programme (software) which is so designed that-
(a) it allows a voter to cast the vote only once;
(b) the vote can be recorded by a voter only after the Assistant Presiding Officer enables the ballot on the Control Unit;
(c) the next vote can be recorded only after the Assistant Presiding Officer enables the ballot;
(d) the machine does not receive any signal from outside at any time;
(e) the proper use of the programme would give the same result in the counting of votes in an election as would be obtained if the counting were conducted without EVM assistance;
(f) the programme gives an elector an opportunity to correct any mistakes before processing the elector’s vote;
(g) the programme will not allow a person to find out how a particular elector cast his or her vote;
(h) the programme is designed to pause while the Presiding Officer makes a determination when it is required;
(i) the programme can produce indicative distributions of candidate wise votes at any time after the close of the poll and before the declaration of the poll;
(j) any other criteria specified by the Commission is fulfiled.
(3) The Commission shall determine processes which shall be followed in relation to the use of an approved programme in the casting and counting of votes in an election.
(4) Subject to clause (3), the Commission may approve a process-
(a) for casting vote shown on ballot paper into the approved programme.
(b) for counting votes using the programme to work out the number of electronic ballot on which a vote is recorded for each candidate; and
(c) for verifying of identity of elector with reference to the electoral roll.
26C. (1) All electronic devices and programmes used or intended to be used for or in connection with EVM shall be kept secured from interference at all times in such a manner as may be prescribed.
(2) The Commission shall prescribe security measures, procedural checks-and-balances for the prevention of any possible misuse or procedural lapses.
(3) The safeguards prescribed under clause (1) shall be implemented by the Commission transparently with the active and documented involvement of candidates and their representatives at every stage, so as to build their confidence on efficacy and reliability of EVMs.
(4) The Commission shall retain the chip of EVM in which electronic data is produced at a polling station for one year, and thereafter the Commission shall, unless otherwise directed by the High Court Division, cause them to be deleted or destroyed.
26D. The Commission may, for ensuring the accuracy, security and transparency of EVM, conduct Random Testing and Verification of EVM at any stage.” ]
- 78[ (1) The following person may cast their votes by postal ballot in such manner as may be prescribed, namely:¬-
(a) a person referred to in sub-sections (3) and (5) of section 8 of the Electoral Rolls Act, 2009 (২০০৯ সনের ৬নং আইন);
(b) a person appointed for the performance of any duty in connection with an election at a polling station other than the one at which he is entitled to cast his vote; and
(c) a Bangladeshi voter living abroad.]
(2) An elector who, being entitled to do so, intends to cast his vote by postal ballot shall¬-
(a) in the case of a person referred to in sub clause (a) 79[ and (c)] of clause (1), within fifteen days from the date of the publication of the notification under Article 11, and
(b) in the case of a person referred to in sub clause (b) of that clause as soon as may be after his appointment,
apply to the Returning Officer of the constituency in which he is an elector for a ballot paper for voting by postal ballot; and every such application shall specify the name of the elector, his address and his serial number in the electoral roll.
(3) The Returning Officer shall immediately upon the receipt of an application by an elector under clause (2) sent by post to such elector a ballot paper and an envelope bearing on its face a form of certificate of posting, showing the date thereof, to be filled in by the proper official of the Post Office at the time of posting by the elector.
(4) An elector on receiving his ballot paper for voting by postal ballot shall in the prescribed manner record his vote and after so recording post the ballot paper to the Returning Officer in the envelope sent to him under clause (3) with minimum of delay.
- (1) The Returning Officer shall provide each Presiding Officer with such number of ballot boxes as may be necessary.
(2) The ballot boxes shall be of such material and design as may be approved by the Commission.
(3) Not more than one ballot box shall be used at a time for the purpose of the poll at any polling station, or at any polling booth, where there are more than one polling booths at a polling station.
(4) At least half an hour before the time fixed for the commencement of the poll, the Presiding Officer shall
(a) ensure that every ballot box to be used is empty;
80[(aa) deliver such empty ballot box to the Assistant Presiding Officer or Polling Officer recording the serial number of the concerne ballot box and the serial number of the seal thereon and obtaining signature of the receiver in the respective column of the prescribed form and endeavour to obtain signature of the agents of candidates who is willing to put signature on the said form;]
(b) show the empty ballot box to the contesting candidates and their election agents and polling agents whoever may be present;
(c) after the ballot box has been shown to be empty, close and seal it; and
(d) place the ballot box so as to be conveniently accessible to the elector, and at the same time within the sight of himself and of such candidates or their election or polling agents as may be present.
(5) If one ballot box is full or cannot further be used for receiving ballot papers, the Presiding Officer shall seal that ballot box 81[with his own seal and signature and with the seals or signatures of the contesting candidates or election agents or polling agents present who may wish to seal or sign it] and keep it in a secure place and use another ballot box in the manner laid down in clause (4).
(6) A Presiding Officer shall make such arrangements at the polling station that every elector may be able to mark his ballot paper in secret before the same is folded and inserted in the ballot box.
- The Presiding Officer shall, subject to such instructions as the Commission may give in this behalf, regulate the number of electors to be admitted to the polling station at a time and exclude from the polling station all other persons except-
(a) any person on duty in connection with the election;
82[(b) the contesting candidates and their election agents and one polling agent of each contesting candidate for each booth;
(bb) election observers; and]
(c) such other persons as may be specifically permitted by the Returning Officer.
- (1) The Presiding Officer shall keep order at the polling station and may remove or cause to be removed any person who misconducts himself at a polling station or fails to obey any lawful orders of the Presiding Officer.
(2) Any person removed under clause (1) from a polling station shall not, without the permission of’ the Presiding Officer, again enter the polling station during the day and shall, if he is accused of an offence in a polling station, be liable to be arrested without warrant by a police officer.
(3) The powers under this Article shall not be so exercised as to deprive an elector of an opportunity to cast his vote at the polling station at which he is entitled to vote.
- 83[(1) Where an elector presents himself at the polling station to vote, the Presiding Officer shall, after satisfying himself about the identity of the elector with reference to 84[the electoral roll], issue to him a ballot paper 85[or allow him to cast his vote by using EVM].
(2) Before a ballot paper is issued to an elector-
(a) he shall be required to receive a personal mark made with indelible ink on the thumb or any other finger of either hand;
(b)the number and name of the elector as entered in the electoral roll shall be called out;
(c)a mark shall be placed on the electoral roll against the number and name of the elector to indicate that a ballot paper has been issued to him;
(d)the ballot paper shall on its back be stamped with the official mark; 87[* * *]
(e)the number of the elector on the electoral roll shall be marked in writing on the counterfoil by the Presiding Officer who shall also stamp the counterfoil with the official mark 88[;
(f)the elector shall put his signature or thumb impression on the counterfoil of the ballot paper.]
(3) A ballot paper shall not be issued to a person who refuses to receive the personal mark with indelible ink or if he already bears such a mark or the remnants of such mark.
(4) If a contesting candidate or his election or polling agent alleges that an elector to whom a ballot paper is about to be issued already has one or more ballot papers in his possession, the Presiding Officer may require the elector to satisfy him that he does not have any other ballot paper in his possession and may also take such measures as he thinks fit to ensure that such elector does not insert more than one ballot paper in the ballot box.
(5) The elector, on receiving the ballot paper, shall-
89[(a) if so requested by any contesting candidate or an election agent 90[or polling agent], show the official mark on the back of the ballot paper to him;
(aa) forthwith proceed to the place reserved for marking the ballot paper;]
(b) put the prescribed mark on the ballot paper at any place within the space containing the name and symbol of the contesting candidate for whom he wishes to vote; and
(c) after he has so marked , fold the ballot paper and insert it in the ballot box.
(6) The elector shall vote without undue delay and shall leave the polling station immediately after he has inserted his ballot paper in the ballot box.
(7) Where an elector is blind or is otherwise so incapacitated that he cannot vote without the assistance of a companion, the Presiding Officer shall allow him such assistance and thereupon such elector may do with such assistance any thing which an elector is required or permitted to do under this Order.
- (1) If a person representing himself to be an elector applies for a ballot paper when another person has already represented himself to be that elector and has voted under the name of the persons so applying, he shall be entitled, subject to the provisions of this Article to receive a ballot paper (hereinafter referred to as “tendered ballot paper”) in the same manner as any other elector.
(2) A tendered ballot paper shall, instead of being put into the ballot box, be given to the Presiding Officer who shall endorse thereon the name and number in the electoral roll of the person applying for it and place it in a separate packet endorsed with the name of the candidate for whom such person wishes to vote.
(3) The name of the person applying for a ballot paper under clause (1) and his number on the electoral roll shall be entered in a list (hereinafter referred to as “the tendered votes list”) to be prepared by the Presiding Officer.
- (1) If, at the time a person applies for a ballot paper for the purpose of voting, a candidate or his 92[election agent or] polling agent declares to the Presiding Officer that he has reasonable cause to believe that that person has already voted at the election, at the same or another polling station or is not the person against whose name entered in the electoral roll he is seeking to vote, and undertakes to prove the charge in a Court of law and deposits with the Presiding Officer in cash such sum as may be prescribed, the Presiding Officer may, after warning the person of the consequences and obtaining his thumb impression and, if he is literate, also his signature, on the counterfoil, issue a ballot paper (hereinafter referred to as “challenged ballot paper”) to that person.
(2) If the Presiding Officer issues a ballot paper under clause (1) to such person he shall enter the name and address of that person in a list to be prepared by him (hereinafter referred to as “the challenged votes list”) and obtain thereon the thumb impression and, if he is literate, also the signature, of that person.
(3) A ballot paper issued under clause (1) shall, after it has been marked and folded by the elector, be placed in the same condition in a separate packet bearing the label “challenged ballot papers” instead of being placed in the ballot box.