UPDATE: INEC extends voting till Sunday
The Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) has extended voting in the Anambra State governorship election till Sunday.
WITHIN NIGERIA gathered that the development is to allow those who could not vote on Saturday due to the malfunctioning of the Bimodal Voters Accreditation System (BIVAS) machine to do so.
It was learnt that the Bimodal Voters Accreditation System (BIVAS) machine failed to work in many units.
Addressing reporters at the INEC office in Awka, the Resident Electoral Commissioner (REC), Dr Nkwachukwu Orji, said the closing of voting had been shifted from 2.30 pm to 4. pm on Saturday, after which the exercise will continue on Sunday in units where voting could not hold.
He said the machines suffered software hitches, adding that the commission’s engineers were working to rectify the problem.
He said materials did not arrive on time at some polling units because some drivers and ad-hoc staff failed to turn up.
“This revised closing time applies to areas where polling units opened after the commencement period of 8.30 am.
“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 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 wishes to reiterate that in cases of sustained malfunction of the BVAS, the Presiding Officer must inform the voters and polling agents that accreditation and voting for the affected Polling Unit shall continue tomorrow or at another time determined by the Commission.
“With this extension of time and the recommencement of accreditation where the BVAS consistently malfunctions, the Commission assures that no voter will be disenfranchised.
“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 make all votes count.”