Politics

CVR: INEC suspends online voters registration

Tunde Joshua, Abuja

The Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) has suspended online Continuous Voter Registration(CVR) nationwide for three weeks.

Chairman of the Commission, Prof. Mahmood Yakubu announced this Wednesday in Abuja at the second quarterly meeting with civil society organisations (CSOs).

He said the temporary suspension is to enable online registrants to complete their registration physically at the designated centres.

This is as he said that the physical resignation at designated centres will be suspended on 30th June 2022.

The suspension at June ending will afford the Commission time to clean up the registration data, print the Permanent Voters’ Cards (PVCs) and compile the register ahead of the 2023 General Election.

Yakubu in his welcome address said the ongoing Continuous Voter Registration (CVR) exercise ends next month i.e. 30th June 2022.

“Both the online pre-registration as well as the physical registration at designated centres are taking place simultaneously. However, online pre-registrants would require time to schedule appointments to complete their registration physically at designated centers. For this reason, the Commission has decided to suspend the online registration in the next three weeks i.e. 30th May 2022.

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“This will enable the online registrants to complete their registration physically at the designated centres before the exercise is suspended on 30th June 2022. This will enable the Commission to clean up the registration data, print the Permanent Voters’ Cards (PVCs) and compile the register ahead of the 2023 General Election.,” he said.

On the cleaning up of the registration data, he said “the Commission addressed a Press Conference four weeks ago to present a report on the CVR exercise covering the period from June to December 2021. For the first time, the Commission deployed the Automated Biometric Identification System (ABIS) which is a comprehensive and robust system involving not just fingerprint identification but also facial biometric recognition.

“The report of the ABIS is included among the documents in your folders for this meeting. There will also be a presentation on the exercise by our ICT Department.”

INEC chairman explained some of the many progressive provisions of the Electoral Act 2022 which, he said, require clear understanding to guide implementation.

He said “one of such provisions is the electronic transmission of election results. At this meeting, we will discuss the implementation of the provisions of Sections 60, 62 and 64 of the Electoral Act 2022 regarding the management of election results. We have prepared a document for discussion which is included in your folders for this meeting.

“Section 54(2) of the Electoral Act makes provision for assistive materials for Persons with Disabilities (PWDs). This is another progressive provision of the new Electoral Act. Over the years, we have worked with the disability community in designing some of the assistive materials such as the Braille Ballot Guide and the provision of magnifying glasses for visually challenged voters and posters for the deaf.

“We are also working together to collect disaggregated data for PWDs to assist the Commission in optimally deploying the assistive materials. To deepen our collaboration, a meeting will be convened as early as next week with the disability community to discuss the implementation of the provisions of the new Electoral Act on inclusivity.”

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