Guber Poll: INEC Insists On Card Readers

By Chibuzo Ukaibe

The Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) yesterday assured that it has identified the challenges facing the card reader and has taken adequate measures to address them ahead of the governorship elections this Saturday.

The commission in a statement by its secretary, Mrs Augusta C. Ogakwu, also reaffirmed that Card Readers will be used for the April 11, 2015 elections.

INEC had during the recent presidential election allowed manual accreditation of voters because of the challenges with the card readers.

The chairman, INEC Information, Voter Education and Publicity Committee, Dr Chris O. Iyimoga, had on the eve of the presidential election, said "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 Card (PVC) is the legitimate holder of the card."

But the statement by the commission yesterday said that "the provision of the Guidelines for the conduct of the 2015 General Elections which outlined what is to be done if a Card Reader fails and cannot be replaced by the commission within a specified time frame (i.e. Reschedule the election to the next day) will be enforced.

"The relaxation of the Guideline on 28th March, 2015 was only with respect to the Presidential and National Assembly elections held on that date.

"The commission has reviewed the operation of the Card Reader in the 28th March Elections, identified the challenges and has taken adequate measures to address them."