THE Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) has extended voting in the Presidential and National Elections to Sunday as a result of hitches by Card Readers in some parts of the country.
The Chairman of INEC Committee on Information and Voters Education, Mr. Chris Iyimoga, while addressing the Press at the Media Centre of the National Collation Centre in Abuja, on Saturday said with some hitches in some parts of the country, there was no way the Presidential and National Assembly Elections could be concluded on Saturday as originally planned.
He disclosed that that manual authentication will be used in areas where the Card Readers malfunctioned and that those whose names appear on voters list would not be turned back from voting.
He gave an appraisal of Saturday’s exercise by saying “The Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) has been monitoring field reports on the accreditation process since the commencement of the poll this morning. Whereas the process has gone on well in several places, in some others it has encountered some challenges, especially with the use of the card readers. Consequently, accreditation has been slow in many places and has not commenced at all in some others.”
Iyimoga added that “Even though the Guidelines for the Conduct of the 2015 general elections provide that where card readers fail to work and cannot be replaced, elections in such Polling Units will be postponed to the following day, the scale of the challenge we have observed today has necessitated a reconsideration of this provision of the Guidelines. The Commission has, therefore, decided as part of the Guidelines for the Conduct of the 2015 general elections that in Polling Units where card readers have so failed to work, the Presiding Officer shall manually accredit voters by marking the register of voters, upon being satisfied that the person presenting a Permanent Voter’s Card (PVC) is the legitimate holder of the card.”
Iyimoga stressed that ” The above not withstanding, in Polling Units where accreditation was suspended to the following day in accordance with the existing Guidelines, arrangements will be made for voters to vote tomorrow, subject to the provisions of the Electoral Act 2010 (as amended).”
He stated that “The Commission reassures the voting public that it will thoroughly investigate what happened, while it remains committed to the delivery of free, fair and credible elections in spite of the challenges.”
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