Continuous Voters Registration: INEC Launches Online Portal

Continuous Voters Registration: INEC Launches Online Portal

The Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), Thursday launched the online Portal for the continuous voters registration exercise nationwide.

The Commission’s Chairman, Professor Mahmood Yakubu made the disclosure at the national headquarters of the Commission in Abuja.

According to the chairman, the register of voters is at the heart of democratic elections, stating that “a good register of voters is a precursor to a good election. For this reason, the registration of voters is a major function of the Independent National Electoral Commission under the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria 1999 (as amended) and the Electoral Act 2010 (as amended)”.

He noted that, “In exercising its powers under the law, the Commission undertook a fresh registration of eligible voters with every General Election until 2011 when the first reliable biometric register of voters was compiled. Thereafter, the Commission embarked on intermittent registration of voters on the eve of major elections. However, in April 2017, this Commission for the first time began the implementation of registration of voters on a continuous basis as provided in the Electoral Act. As a result, 14,283,734 new voters were added to the register by the time the process was suspended in August, 2018 in order to prepare for the 2019 General Election”.

The chairman also said that, Monday 28th June 2021 remains sacrosanct, as the registration of voters will commence in full nationwide.

“We are now ready to resume the CVR on Monday next week. We have acquired all the equipment for the exercise, updated our registration software and planned for the deployment of 5,346 staff to the 2,673 registration centres nationwide. Among the equipment for the exercise is a new registration machine called the INEC Voter Enrolment Device (IVED). This device is built around the concept of a Tablet computer and will replace the lap-top based old Direct Data Capture Machine (DDCM)”.

He also noted that in the Commission’s determination to serve Nigerians better during the CVR, and in response to repeated calls by stakeholders, the Commission is introducing a dedicated portal for online registration. The idea is for intending registrants to commence the process online by filling the forms and uploading their pictures and required documents, and then make an appointment on the web portal for a date and time to visit an INEC State or Local Government Area (LGA) office to give their fingerprints and complete the registration. In addition, those who are already registered as voters can carry out all the other activities such as transfers, correction of personal details and replacement of damaged or defaced Permanent Voters’ Cards (PVCs) online. We hope that through this portal, we shall reduce overcrowding at our registration centres, especially in the context of the COVID-19 pandemic, make the registration processes generally easier, thereby giving Nigerians a pleasant electoral experience.

The exercise according to the Commission will be carried out continuously over a period of at least one year thereby, providing enough time for the Commission to reach all the nooks and crannies of the country. “No eligible Nigerian will be disenfranchised, the chairman noted.

The chairman also allayed the fears expressed by some Nigerians that many citizens may be disenfranchised by the new digital arrangement pointing out that, the Commission is aware that not all Nigerians have computers, smart phones, access to the internet or residing in urban and sub-urban areas. Some citizens may also have one form of disability or another to make it impossible for them to register online.

The Commission, Yakubu said is also aware of its responsibility under the law to provide every eligible Nigerian the opportunity to register irrespective of where they live or other circumstances of life. “I wish to assure you that in addition to the online registration portal, there will be some 2,673 centres where citizens can register physically nationwide”, he added.

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