INEC to issue permanent electronic voters’ cards


By Emmanuel Okubenji |DAILY TIMES | November 28, 2012 

The electoral body says the cards will have a 10-year lifespan to enable them be used in two general elections

The Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) has announced that it is set to issue permanent electronic voters’ cards that would be valid for 10 years.

Attahiru Jega, the commission’s chairman, stated this in Abuja on Wednesday at an INEC/civil society dialogue on plans and progress towards the 2015 elections. “With the design of the card and specification, it will serve for an average of 10 years, as it could also be used for the 2019 elections,” he said.

According to him, this would eliminate electoral fraud and ensure credible and transparent polls due to the features on the electronic card

The chairman said that card readers would take the finger prints and determine the legitimacy of the owners of the card.

He said with the introduction of card readers, matching the electoral manipulations and fraudulent activities of people buying voters card and multiple voting would be eliminated.

“There is a lot of work to be done,” he said. “We have to procure card readers and we have started this; we have made budget for it and we are receiving support. This budget year, we are buying 500; and under the 2013/14 budget, we are buying the rest. So by 2015, there will be enough card readers to deploy to polling units to ensure 100 per cent authentication.”

Jega said INEC would commence the issuance of permanent voters’ card early in 2013, as the contract for the production of 40 million voters’ cards, out of the 73.5 million registered, had been awarded.

He said INEC was doing the last stage of the processing of the second batch of the contract; adding that by the middle of 2014, all the eligible voters that had registered would have been given their permanent voters’ card.

“There is a continuing process of registration in which any person who is eligible as required by the law can go to an established office and be registered,” he said. “There are so many processes of this globally and INEC is embracing the best methodology; which will be launched nationwide next year.”

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