INEC BOSS

The Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) has fixed June 28, for the resumption of its suspended Continuous Voter Registration across the country, with new technology.

The Chairman of the Commission, Prof. Mahmood Yakubu, at a news briefing on Thursday said that the exercise would continue until the third quarter of 2022.

Yakubu also announced that the Commission would replace its Direct Data Capture Machine (DDCM) introduced in 2011 for voter registration with a new technology called, INEC Voter Enrolment Device (IVED).

The registration exercise took place continuously from April 27, 2017 and was suspended on Aug. 31, 2018.

The suspension was “to enable the commission to prepare the data for the production of register of voters and printing of Permanent Voter Cards (PVCs) for the 2019 general elections”.

Yakubu said that INEC could not resume the exercise in 2019 due to litigations that followed the general elections and several off-cycle elections, particularly the Kogi and Bayelsa governorship polls.

According to him in both states polls the same the same register of voter for 2019 was.

He added that the CVR could not also come up in 2020 largely due to the outbreak of COVID-19 pandemic.

He said that although the Commission earlier promised to start the exercise before the end of first quarter of 2022, the target could not be met for three reasons.

“The first is the establishment of new systems that would ensure safer CVR exercise in the context of the COVID-19 pandemic.

“In this regard, the Commission is building a new online registration portal that would enable new registrants to commence registration online and subsequently complete the capture of their biometric data at designated registration centres.

“This is designed to reduce crowding. Through the online portal, they can schedule their visits to the registration centres to suit their convenience.

“Above all, a CVR locator is integrated into the new portal which will enable online registrants to locate the nearest registration centre available to them to complete their registration.

“Previously, registered voters who wished to transfer their voting locations, apply for replacement of their PVCs or correct their personal information had to appear physically at the registration centres.

“The development of this portal, which is being done in-house by our engineers, has taken a little more time to complete than the Commission anticipated.”

Yakubu added that the exercise could not start on the targeted quarter due to the commission’s determination to expand voter access to polling units across the country, of which it needed more time.

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