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INEC phases out use of Smart Card Readers on election day

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Prof. Mahmood Yakubu
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The Chairman, Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), Professor Yakubu Mahmood has announced that Nigerians will no longer use Smart Card Readers as means of authenticating voters beginning with the Isoko South 1 bye-election to hold on September 11, 2021.

Yakubu who was speaking during the third quarterly meeting with media organisations held on Tuesday in Abuja, said that among the focal points of the meeting with the media was to hear from them the concerns they have on election matters; then present and demonstrate to the media how the Bio-modal Voter Accreditation electronic device that will be used in authenticating voters on election day works.

“When you go to the field in Isoko, I am sure most of you will cover the elections or organisations will send reporters, you are likely to see two things, one example is that you may not see and wonder why you will not see a smart card reader on election day in Isoko.

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We are piloting a new device which is going to be presented and demonstrated at this meeting if it works according to plan then we will then deploy it in November in Anambra and also in February in FCT elections in June and July next year and we are hoping in the 2023 general election”, Yakubu said,

The Chairman explained that it was important for the newsmen to see first hand how the device is operated as it will give them an edge when reporting during the coming offseason elections and general election in 2023.

“My Bio-modal device is used for continuous voter registration, authentication of voters in the field and also to upload results after elections.

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“It has a fingerprint scanner, camera for facial recognition and barcode to read contact cards contact less card. Also data from each polling unit is installed in the system in such a way that when a voter comes with his card and he or she is not in that polling unit, the information in the system will indicate so.

He said “today’s meeting will focus essentially on the forthcoming Anambra State Governorship election holding in less than two months. In addition to other activities, we devolved the CVR to the 326 Registration Areas (or Wards) in addition to the 21 Local Government offices and the State Office of the Commission.

“The physical exercise was suspended two days ago i.e. 60 days to the election as required by law. However, the online pre-registration option will continue to be available but no appointment for completion of registration can be scheduled until after the election.”

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“In the next few days, the Commission will compile the register of new voters and publish the same throughout the State for claims and objections.

“Thereafter, we will clean up the data, print the PVCs for collection by registrants and compile the actual register of voters to be used in each of the 5,720 polling units in the State.

“I want to assure every newly registered voter in Anambra State, including those who applied to transfer from within and outside the State or for the replacement of damaged or lost PVCs that their cards will be printed and made available to them for collection before the election.”

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