The Chairman of the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), Professor Attahiru Jega, on Thursday said that all ballot boxes for the 2015 elections would be digitalised in order to make ballot box snatching impossible in polling stations and reduce election fraud by politicians.
Speaking at the closing ceremony of a four-day retreat for the commission’s national commissioners and Resident Electoral Commissioners in Kaduna, Professor Jega said the new digitalised system would render ballot box snatching invalid and therefore advised politicians with such wishful dream to drop it.
The INEC boss said: “henceforth every polling booth would have a specialised digital number and all voting cards for that particular station would carry the digital number.
“When you register in polling booth A, your registration number is one; everybody that registered there will bear number one, which means that the polling unit is A1. If your polling unit is B, you have B1/1-500. If your voting card is registered under B unit and it finds its way into A unit, that vote automatically becomes invalid.
“It pays for people contesting in the election to ensure that they play by the rules of the game, because when you snatch boxes from one polling unit to another, you stand the chance of losing your votes as they will all be declared invalid.
“With this new system and other initiatives put in place by the Commission, 2015 will witness a hitch-free election, even though I cannot assure you of a perfect election as we are learning day by day.”
This, he noted, would make ballot box snatching difficult for politicians.
While urging politicians to play the game according to the rule, Jega noted that politicians that snatched ballot boxes, would be detected and their votes declared invalid.
On the de-registration of political parties, Jega said the commission stood by its decision even as the matter was before a court.