The Independent National Electoral Commission on Tuesday declared that it was satisfied with the outcome of last Saturday’s field testing of the Smart Card Readers, which will be used for the general elections.
Kayode Idowu, the Chief Press Secretary to the INEC Chairman, Prof. Attahiru Jega, made the declaration in a statement in Abuja.
Idowu explained that after reviewing the conduct of the mock accreditation on Monday, the commission was satisfied that the objective of using the SCRs to verify Permanent Voter Cards presented by voters at polling units and ensure that they are genuine, INEC-issued (not cloned) cards, was achieved 100 per cent.
He also added that INEC was satisfied that to use the card reader “to biometrically authenticate the person who presents a PVC at the polling unit and ensure that he/she is the legitimate holder of the card.
In this regard, there were a few issues in some states during the public demonstration, Idowu said.
He added” “Overall, 59% of voters who turned out for the demonstration had their fingerprints successfully authenticated.
“But the Commission, in agreement with registered political parties, had provided in the approved guidelines for the conduct of the 2015 elections that where biometric authentication of a legitimate holder of a genuine PVC becomes challenging, there could be physical authentication of the person and completion of an Incident Form, to allow the person to vote.”
Idowu, nonetheless, explained that the commission took a serious view of the high rate of the SCRs’ failure to authenticate voters’ fingerprints in some areas, particularly in Ebonyi State, and has decided to thoroughly investigate the cause as well as repeat the public demonstration in that state.
He said: “This demonstration will be conducted in the particular Registration Area involved in the last exercise, namely Izzi Unuhu (Abakaliki Local Government Area); as well as in Ibii/Oziza Registration Area (Afikpo North LGA). The repeat demonstration will be on Saturday, March 14th 2015.
“INEC is satisfied that the use of SCRs in the 2015 general elections will add tremendous transparency and credibility to the accreditation process on Election Day. The Commission hereby reassures the public that it will do everything necessary to ensure that the processes of the elections are seamless, free, fair, credible and peaceful.”
The field testing of SCRs was held last Saturday in 12 states of the country.