Smart Card Reader Configured To Work At Particular Polling Unit – INEC

Channels Television  
Updated January 30, 2015

Akin_OrebiyiThe electoral body in Nigeria says the smart card readers it will use in the general election had been configured for specific polling units, a strategy it had adopted to guard against attempts by individuals to rig the election.

The Independent National Electoral Commission’s Resident Electoral Commissioner in Lagos State, Mr Akin Orebiyi, told Channels Television on Friday that the commission had put every strategy in place to ensure that packs of cards that some politicians may have collected or bought from voters would not be used in other polling units.

It is less than 16 days to the commencement of the election and the commission in Lagos had only been able to distribute about 2.4 million of the four million Permanent Voters Cards (PVC)which is 60 per cent of the PVCs.

He said that Nigerians had not come out to collect the cards, but expressed optimism that 80 to 85 per cent of the cards would be collected before the deadline.

No deadline had been set for the collection of the PVC, but it is expected to end few days before February 14, slated for the presidential election.

“The smart card has certain features and benefits that will deter another person from using somebody else’s card.

“When you insert your card, it will authenticate to be sure it is an INEC’s card and whether the owner of the card is the person bearing it.

“The individual will put his thumb on the smart card reader and it will bring out the individual’s features.

“The card reader is configured to be used in one particular polling unit. It cannot be used in two places.

“People that are yet to come to terms with that, thinking that they will buy packs of cards and use on polling day, should know that it won’t work like that.

“It will be a more valid process that will not allow the integrity of the electoral process to be undermined,” he said.

With over 40 per cent of the voters cards still lying uncollected at INEC’s collection offices, more cards are coming in.

“We are expecting 5.9 million cards in Lagos and about five vans came in last night with some of the PVCs. Most of the cards will be that of people who registered late last year.

Card_Reader_For_Election-in-Nigeria
INEC ad-hoc staff testing the use of the smart card reader during one of its trainings.

“We are distributing at the 24 ward centres across the state.

“There is no cause for alarm. We are not scared, as to the course of the election.

“We are not expecting anything close to 90 per cent collection, but if we record 80 to 85 collection, we are good to go ahead with the elections.

“Every aspect of preparations have been taken into consideration except the PVC distribution,” Mr Orebiyi said.

He also said that the commission was not anticipating any delay in the process of the election, despite insinuations that the process of using the card reader would delay the voting.

“We do not anticipate that there will be a delay. Accreditation will take place between 8:00am and 1:00pm and that is an additional one hour.”

According to him, adequate training had been given to the ad-hoc staff of the commission on how to use the smart card reader, with demonstration in form of a mock election.