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PVC: INEC to hold mock exam Saturday

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The Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) will this Saturday conduct a mock examination for voters in some parts of the country by embarking on a test run of the smart card readers (CRs) to be used for the general elections.

The test run of the CRs is also to prepare the electoral body for challenges that may be encountered in the use of the machines for accreditation of voters on Election Day.

According to the commission’s Decision Extract issued recently and signed by its Director, Commission’s Secretariat, Ishiaku A. Gali, the field tests would take place simultaneously in two states of each of the six geopolitical zones of the federation on Saturday, March 7, 2015.

The states selected for the exercise are: Ekiti and Lagos in the South-west; Anambra and Ebonyi in the South-east; Delta and Rivers in the South-south; Kano and Kebbi in the North-west; Bauchi and Taraba in the northeast; and Niger and Nasarawa in the North-central zone.

According to INEC, the Resident Electoral Commissioners (RECs) of the selected states would be charged with the tasks of selecting registration areas with the full complement of Permanent Voters Card (PVCs) and with an appreciable distribution of such PVCs for undertaking the field test.

Also they are to ensure that the register of voters in respect of all polling units in the selected registration areas is printed for the conduct of the exercise.

INEC further directed its national commissioners to supervise the conduct of the exercise in their zones, adding that RECs who are not selected for the exercise should observe the conduct of the exercise in their zones in conjunction with the national commissioners.

They are also to carry out engagements with key stakeholders at the state level, and in particular, stakeholders in the selected registration areas where the exercise would be conducted to ensure massive participation by registered voters.

Providing further clarification, the commission’s Director, Voter Education, Mr. Oluwole Uzzi, stated that the demonstration of the pilot scheme in two states in each of the six geopolitical zones is aimed at explaining to the people what the card reader technology is all about.

He added that over 700,000 ad hoc staff would also be engaged in the over 150,000 polling units across nation and debunked the misconception that the use of card readers would amount to electronic voting.

The Electoral Act does not allow electronic voting, he asserted.

Uzzi spoke at a youth enlightenment workshop in Abuja, explaining: “The card reader has the biometrics of everybody registered in any polling unit, it carries the name, photograph and other details of the voter.

 

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