- Adopt continuous voting, accreditation
By Onyebuchi Ezigbo
The Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) has approved additional guidelines to the existing 2015 guidelines and regulations for the conduct of elections in the country.
One of the new additions to the election guidelines is approved continuous accreditation and voting procedure at elections, which was experimented on during the recent re- run elections in Bayelsa and Rivers states as well as the council poll in the Federal Capital Territory.
In a statement issued on Thursday, INEC said that for the time being, it has decided that the following shall constitute a supplement to the existing guidelines and regulations at elections.
According to the supplementary guidelines, continuous accreditation and Voting System is now to be part of the electoral system.
It said: “the accreditation process shall comprise authentication and verification of voters using the Smart Card Reader (SCR), checking of the Register of Voters, and inking of the cuticle of the specified finger while “ballot paper shall be issued in the prescribed manner by the Presiding Officer of a Polling Unit/Voting Point (Settlement) of the FCT, and the Assistant Presiding Officer, APO (VP), in the case of a Voting Point (VP)”.
The statement said that accreditation and voting will commence at 8.00 am and close at 2.00 p.m. provided that any voters already in the queue shall be granted access to Accreditation and Voting in the prescribed manner.
In the same vein, INEC said that henceforth, polling unit layout will require the Presiding Officer to sit next to the Assistant Presiding Officer11 as the Overseer.
According to the statement, “all procedures specified in the guidelines and regulations for the conduct of the 2015 general elections remain in effect”