The independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) has said that Smart Card Reader will be used for the 2019 general elections for the accreditation of registered voters.
INEC further gave detail analysis of how the Smart Card Reader will be used during the elections.
This was made known by INEC Chairman, Prof. Mahmood Yakubu during the Commission’s Quarterly Consultative Meeting with Civil Society Organizations (CSOs) ahead of the 2019 general elections.
In a statement obtained by AceGist, the INEC chairman also raised concern about the millions of Permanent Voters Card (PVC) that are yet to be collected.
The full statement read:
With 38 days to the 2019 General Elections, electioneering campaigns are in full swing, following your nomination of candidates for the 1,558 constituencies for which elections will be conducted this year.
As you are aware, the Presidential election as well as elections for 109 Senatorial Districts and 360 Federal Constituencies will be held on Saturday 16thFebruary 2019. education ahead of major off-season elections.
Two weeks later, Governorship elections in 29 States of the Federation, 991 State Assembly constituencies and 68 Area Councils in the Federal Capital Territory (FCT) will be held on Saturday 2ndMarch 2019.
As you would have noticed, the Commission has been diligently implementing the Timetable and Schedule of Activities for the 2019 General Elections. We have so far implemented 8 out of 14 activities.
After the mandatory display of the register in all polling units nationwide for claims and objections from 6th- 12th November 2018, the final register for the 2019 General Elections stands at 84,004,084 voters.
I urge all registered voters who have not collected their PVCs to approach any of our Local Government Area offices and other designated collection centres nationwide to pick up their cards.
While we are encouraged by the response so far, millions of cards are still yet to be collected. I wish to reiterate that the Commission will not allow the collection of PVCs by proxy.
Registered voters should endeavour to collect their cards personally without which no person can vote on election day.
On this note, let me re-emphasise the Commission’s policy that the Smart Card Readers will be used for the 2019 General Elections for accreditation of voters.
For clarity, I wish to stress that the function of the Smart Card Reader during accreditation is to confirm, verify and authenticate the voter. First, it shall be used to confirm that the PVC is genuine and issued by INEC.
Cloned cards or cards that do not match the codes for a particular polling unit in which the voter is registered will be rejected by the Card Readers.
Secondly, the Card Readers shall verify that the voter who presents the PVC is the actual owner of the Card by ensuring that the personal details on the Card Reader are consistent with the manual register for the polling unit.
Thirdly, the Card Reader shall be used to authenticate the fingerprint of the voter as an additional confirmatory procedure.
If the fingerprint is not authenticated by the Card Reader but the PVC is confirmed as genuine and the voter’s personal details are consistent with the manual register, he/she shall be allowed to vote.
However, where the biometric authentication fails, the voter will be required to thumbprint a box next to his/her picture on the register and to enter his/her mobile telephone number before proceeding to vote.
The Commission has modified the Register of Voters for the 2019 General Elections accordingly. Consequently, the separate Incident Form used in previous elections which is only completed by the Presiding Officer without the involvement of the voter is now abolished.
Similarly, the claim that the Card Reader has been enhanced to recapture voters’ fingerprints at polling units and automatically overwrite the biometric record on our database is untrue and should be disregarded.
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