INEC Defends Use of Card Readers

The Independent National Electoral Commission, INEC, has defended the effectiveness and reliability of electronic card readers it plans to use for the forthcoming 2015 general elections.

Attahiru Jega, Chairman of the Commission stated this while addressing the Senate today. He said a mock test conducted on the card readers which will be used in all the six geopolitical zones of the country has successfully scaled through all the thirteen technical tests on effectiveness and reliability.

He added that where a card reader has failed and INEC cannot replace a faulty card reader before accreditation,”then the election at that polling point will be postponed till the following day when a new card reader will be provided for the election. If you say because a card reader fails we should revert to manual that means we should revert to manual everywhere because there are many people who don’t want the card reader to be used,” Jega said.

The INEC Chairman also explained that if a Permanent Voters Card, PVC, has been read and the details of the voter verified, but his fingerprint cannot be authenticated or he or she has no fingers, “an incidence form will be written by the presiding officer of the voting point and the voter will then be accredited. Party agents and observers will be there to testify to this.”

Jega also said the Commission will use the six weeks period of extension to organize more extensive public enlightenment and testing of the card readers.

INEC Chairman was addressing the lawmakers on the level of preparedness of his Commission to conduct the elections on the new date and on the progress so far recorded by the Commission.

Meanwhile INEC has also announced that it has distributed over 75 per cent of the PVC to voters across the country while there are about 16 million voters who are yet to collect theirs.

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