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Why we can’t extend voter registration again – INEC

The Independent National Electoral Commission has disclosed why it can’t accede to request of further extension of the Continuous Voter Registration ahead of the 2023 general elections.

The commission said extending the exercise will have negative impact on the election.

The INEC commissioner for Voters Education, Dr Festus Okoye, made this known in an interview with PUNCH in Abuja.

Recall that the electoral umpire closed its doors to new registrations on Sunday, July 31, 2022 amidst more calls for extension of the voter registration deadline.

However, the commission noted that extensions involved additional costs and that its personnel were exhausted from the previous extensions.

But Okoye said, “Any further extension of the ongoing Continuous Voter Registration will adversely affect the commission’s timetable and schedule of activities and lead to unintended consequences.

“The commission spaced out the registration over a period of one year and granted an extension and the exercise must come to an end as it cannot go on ad infinitum. The exercise must end to enable the commission to carry out de-duplication and remove multiple and double registrants.

“It is also mandatory for the commission to display the register in the 774 local government areas of the country and in the 8,809 registration areas for claims and objections. Thereafter, the commission must print the Permanent Voter Cards of legally qualified registrants and get them to collect them in the electoral wards and local governments.

“The commission is also required to integrate the Permanent Voter Register with the Supplementary Voters Register and make copies available to all the registered political parties. The commission started the registration June 28, 2021 and gave the terminal date as June 30, 2022.”

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