Against the backdrop of growing opposition from leadership of the National Assembly, the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) has insisted on electronic accreditation before voting in Nigeria. INEC Chairman Professor Mahmood Yakubu says the electoral body will commence the use of a new electronic accreditation in the forthcoming elections in Delta and Anambra States.

Professor Yakubu made this known during a consultative meeting with civil society groups in Abuja.

The INEC boss said, “The new mantra is that no electronic accreditation, no voting.”

He noted that the new voters’ accreditation machine called Bimodal Voters Accreditation System (BVAS) will replace the Smart Card Readers which were used in previous elections.

Professor Yakubu while explaining the reason for the change said, “For sometimes, many stakeholders including civil society organisations have called on the Commission to strengthen the voter accreditation process during elections especially with reference to the use of the incident form while the smart card reader fails to authenticate the fingerprint of voters.

“Over the last one year, we have reviewed the situation and we think we have found the appropriate technology to address it. The functionality of the ZPAD has now been integrated into IVED, that is, INEC Voter Enrolment Device currently used for voter registration.

“On election day, the same device will become the Bimodal Voters Accreditation System – BVAS to be used first for fingerprint identification during accreditation and for facial identification.”

Meanwhile, the electoral body will conduct a bye-election for Isoko-South Federal Constituency in Delta State on Saturday, September 11, 2021, and Anambra gubernatorial election will follow in November.

The civil society groups while appreciating the commission for the progress made in the use of technology in conducting elections, hoped that the latest innovation will further improve the voting process.

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