Card readers must be used for Saturday polls – INEC insists

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The Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) has denied that it planned to jettison the usage of Smart Card Readers (SCRs) for the March 9 governorship and state assembly elections.

INEC National Commissioner and Chairman Information and Voter Education Committee, Festus Okoye, said this on Tuesday in Abuja.

He said since the conduct of the February 23, 2019 Presidential and National Assembly elections, there have been allegations from certain quarters that the commission was selective in its use of the SCRs in its conduct of the elections.

According to him, these allegations have led to speculations that INEC may be forced to jettison their use in the March 9, 2019 governorship, state houses of assembly and FCT elections.

“INEC hereby states categorically that the allegations are absolutely false and the speculations are without any basis whatsoever.

“The use of the SCRs is not only mandatory but its deliberate non-use attracts the sanction of possible prosecution of erring officials in accordance with the INEC Regulations and Guidelines for the conduct of elections.

“This is in addition to the voiding of any result emanating from such units or areas, as was done in the Presidential and National Assembly elections of February 23, 2019.

“The general public and all officials engaged for the elections are hereby informed that the commission is not reconsidering the use of these SCRs which has greatly improved the credibility of our elections and instilled a high level of public trust in them,” Okoye said.

He added that, to clear any doubt or ambiguity, the deployment and mandatory use SCRs in next Saturday’s elections will not only be uniform but also universal, and the provisions of the Regulations and Guidelines will be strictly and vigorously enforced.

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