Following the hitches experienced at different polling booths across Anambra State during the ongoing guber poll, the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) has extended the voting time to 4 pm over the malfunctioning of the Bimodal Voter Accreditation System (BVAS) in the state.
As gathered, malfunctioning of BVAS was reported in some polling units across the state, hampering residents from exercising their fundamental human rights during the exercise.
Confirming the extension, the resident electoral commissioner for Anambra, Nwachukwu Orji, hinted on Saturday that the extension does not affect the entire polling, staying this applies to areas where polling units were opened after the commencement period of 8:30am.
“The Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) has extended the period for opening and closing of the poll from 8.30am to 4.00pm. This revised closing time applies to areas where Polling Units opened after the commencement period of 8.30am. In line with existing regulations and guidelines of the Commission, any intending voter who is on the queue by 4.00 pm shall be allowed to vote. All Polling Unit staff must comply with this directive,” the statement read.
“The extension of time arose out of several field reports that voters have had problems with accreditation. The Commission is currently investigating the reason the accreditation devices, Bimodal Voter Accreditation System (BVAS), have worked perfectly in some Polling Units, but not in others.
“In some of the cases, it would seem that this resulted from software glitches. Our technicians have already built an update to the devise software to prevent further challenges. The update is currently being installed in the concerned BVAS and we request voters, candidates, and agents to be patient and allow our technical staff to solve the problem.”
The commission, meanwhile, commended the security agencies including the Nigerian Police, for deploying t has also been adversely affected by transportation challenges in some locations.
“It must be noted that on account of security concerns, some of the transporters that were mobilized and collected 50% of their sign-on fee backed out at the last moment, leaving some of our ad-hoc staff stranded. Also, some of the trained ad-hoc staff backed out at the last moment,” it said.
“The Commission is on top of these challenges and extant regulations and guidelines will be applied on a case-by-case bases. Consequently, we are harvesting areas where voting will realistically no longer take place today, including places where substantial disruption has occurred, to enable a possible recommencement of voting at another time, in line with extant laws and the regulations and guidelines of the Commission.
“We appeal to all voters, candidates, stakeholders communities and political parties to remain calm and law-abiding. We assure you that the Commission is determined to a make all votes count.”