The Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) has endorsed the use of card readers for the March 28 and April 11 elections following a test run which the commission described as successful.
“The National Commissioners have decided to stick with the card reader following the huge success the machine recorded during the field test in some 12 states across the country last Saturday,” a source at the commission, who pleaded anonymity, told Vanguard.
Endorsement of the card reader was given at a meeting of the 12 national commissioners of the commission at INEC headquarters in Abuja. The meeting was presided over by INEC Chairman, Prof. Attahiru Jega.
Yesterday’s meeting came ahead of further preparatory meetings with the 37 Resident Electoral Commissioners, RECs, who are in charge of the 36 states of the federation and Abuja.
The use of the card reader had divided the political class with the two major political parties taking divergent positions on the device. INEC claims the cards would stop multiple voting by ensuring that only possessors of the Permanent Voter Cards (PVCs) can vote at voting points where the PVCs are programmed to.
Jega is expected to meet with the RECs tomorrow where complaints generated during the trial run of the card readers will be discussed.
“There is a huge possibility that the commission will allow voters whose fingerprints are not read by the device to vote, but such people will fill the incident form,” a source told Vanguard.
The meeting of the RECs is also expected to appraise the distribution and collection of PVCs. Collection of PVCs have been extended till March 22.