A ballot box filled with ballot is pictured before being counted by the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) at a polling station in Yenagoa in Bayelsa State ~ PIUS UTOMI EKPEI
Abuja - The Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) on Tuesday said it would repeat public demonstration of the Smart Card Readers (SCRs) in Ebonyi on March 14.
The Commission made the disclosure in a statement issued by the Chief Press Secretary to INEC Chairman, Mr Kayode Idowu, to newsmen in Abuja.
The statement quoted Idowu as saying the decision was made when the Commission met on March 9 to consider field reports from the public demonstration of SCRs conducted in 12 states on Saturday, March 7.
He said "the Commission took a serious view of the high rate of SCRs’ failure to authenticate voters’ fingerprints in some areas, particularly in Ebonyi State.
"It has decided to thoroughly investigate the cause and repeat the public demonstration in that state.
"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)."
According to him, the repeat demonstration will be done on Saturday, March 14.
Idowu stated that the Commission’s decision to deploy SCRs for the 2015 general elections had four main objectives.
The objectives, he added, were to verify Permanent Voter cards (PVCs) presented by voters at polling units to ensure originality and to biometrically authenticate the holder of the PVC.
He said that "from the reports on last Saturday’s demonstration, these objectives were achieved 100 per cent."
He added that 59 per cent of voters who turned out for the demonstration had their fingerprints successfully authenticated.
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The INEC official stated that the SCR was meant to provide disaggregated data of accredited voters in male/female and elderly/youth categories.
"A disaggregation that is vital for research and planning purposes, but which INEC until now had been unable to achieve.
"The demonstration of last Saturday fully served this objective."
Idowu listed the fourth objective to be a command action that would transmit the data of accredited voters to a central server at INEC Headquarters.
"The public demonstration also succeeded wholly in this regard," he said.
On the general success rate of the demonstration, the INEC official said it was satisfactory, adding that the process engendered tremendous transparency and credibility to the accreditation process.
INEC had on March 7 demonstrated the use of the SCR in Rivers, Delta, Kano, Kebbi, Anambra, Ebonyi, Ekiti, Lagos, Bauchi, Taraba, Niger and Nasarawa states.
In another development, the Commission said it had so far distributed 55,490,031 Permanent Voter Cards (PVCs) nationwide, out of the 68,833,479 registered voters.
The figure, according to the commission, represents 80.61 per cent of registered voters.
The statistics showed that the commission had attained 95.97 and 95.91 per cent in Zamfara and Jigawa states respectively in the distribution of PVCs.
It had also attained 47.52 per cent in Ogun, having distributed 869,528 PVCs in the state which represented the least in the distribution level so far.