September 07, (THEWILL) – The Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) said it will deploy its new Bimodal Voter Accreditation System (BVAS) machine to authenticate voters as a precondition for casting their votes in the November 6 gubernatorial election in Anambra state. .
The electoral umpire said the device would also ensure transparent management of results during elections.
It explained that the BVAS will now perform the functions of both the smart card reader (SCR) and Z-pad, and guarantee the credibility of voter authentication.
The INEC chairman, Prof. Mahmood Yakubu, who disclosed this at the third quarterly meeting with the media in Abuja on Tuesday, said the functionality of the Z-pad has been integrated into the IVED currently used for voter registration.
Yakubu said on election day, the same device will become the BVAS to be used, first, for fingerprint authentication during accreditation and where it fails for facial authentication.
According to him, ”We believe this will eliminate the possibility of voting by identity theft, using another person’s PVC. Where the voter fails both the fingerprint and facial authentication, he/she will not be allowed to vote.
“In other words, no electronic authentication, no voting. We are convinced that the new machine is robust enough to further guarantee the credibility of voter authentication and transparent management of results during elections.”
He added the commission also intends to carry out a pilot exercise using the new device in Delta state during the Isoko South 1 State Assembly constituency bye-election holding on Saturday, September 11, 2021.
“There will be a presentation of the new device and a practical demonstration of its functions at this meeting. As always, we will welcome your comments and suggestions on this innovation,” he said.
Speaking further, he said 2,729,819 fresh voters have pre-registered online, adding that a total of 717,947 Nigerians have completed their registration at the designated centres in just five weeks.
On his part, the national president of the Nigeria Union of Journalists (NUJ), Chris Isiguzo, urged the National Assembly to reverse its earlier decision to remove the electronic transmission of election results from the proposed amendment to the Electoral Act 2010.
Isiguzo said in line with globally acceptable practices, the nation must fully digitise the electoral system to achieve credible polls.
He faulted the manual collation of results as other processes before elections have been digitised.
“Democracies in the world have embraced digitization, not at piecemeal,” he said.
He also expressed concern over the judiciary’s meddling in the electoral process via conflicting court judgements.
He lauded the decision of the Chief Justice of Nigeria (CJN) to summon judges over the matter and urged him to dig deep into the rot in the judiciary.