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However, Nurul Islam, the presiding officer at the Premier Ideal High School women’s polling centre, assured that the EVMs were functioning correctly.

“Many people’s fingerprints didn’t match due to dirt or changes in their hand lines from labour. We’ve asked voters to clean their hands, and we’re trying to register their votes,” he said.

In EVM voting, identification is done using a smart card, the ID number from the smart card, a 13-17 digit national ID number, or a fingerprint. However, not all voters have received smart cards, and not all 10 fingerprints are stored in the Election Commission’s database.

This discrepancy leads to identification challenges if the recorded fingerprints don’t match the database, particularly affecting older voters whose fingerprints may not be detectable due to aging or labour-induced skin changes.

Despite these issues, Nurul Islam said that the presiding officer has the discretion to allow 1 percent of a centre’s total voters to use their ID for voting.

“Out of 3,220 women voters at the centre, several have encountered issues, but only a few have been permitted to vote this way,” he said, though he could not specify the exact number.

Mohammad Belayet Hossain Chowdhury, regional officer of the Mymensingh Regional Election Office, said that polling began peacefully at 8am, with five mayoral candidates, 149 general councilors, and 69 reserved women councilors in the fray.

The election is being conducted with 1,500 EVMs across 990 booths in 128 polling stations covering 33 wards of the city.

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