ChannelsTV – Officials of the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) on Saturday reported that an individual had presented a cloned Permanent Voter Card (PVC) to be verified during the card reader test in Port Harcourt, Rivers state.
INEC on Saturday began testing card readers that would be used for voter accreditation during the 2015 general elections, in 12 states, spread across six geo-political zones.
Channels Television’s correspondent in In Port Harcourt, Emmanuel Ereyi who was at the scene of the incident reported that the testing exercise had kicked off to a slow start as “not many people appeared to have taken it seriously” despite the presence of INEC officials.
The process commenced when “people started trickling in” and the cards had been read by the devices. However, one case of a failed test had been recorded as one person complained his card could not be read by the device.
Ereyi noted that the card in question “did not look like a proper card issued by INEC” as officials at the unit claimed the card appeared to have been cloned, further explaining that cards not issued by the Commission will not be read by the card readers.
The person whose card was not verified threatened “that if he comes on the voting day and the reading machines cannot detect his card, he is going to cause mayhem”.
His statement was reported to the police by INEC officials who promised measures were in place to forestall any mayhem on election day.
In Anambra, Channels Television’s correspondent, Joy Odinye reported that there were challenges as the card readers took up to three minutes to verify voter’s thumbs. This, she said, was because many of the voters had not been properly educated on how to place their thumbs on the device.
“The atmosphere is really calm. People are trickling in, one after the other to have their accreditation done”, she said, noting that about 30 persons had come for the voluntary exercise.
Odinye reported that the exercise took one to two minutes for the authentication as voters have to first cross check their name in the register.
“The next process, which most of the people here are saying is really cumbersome is the authentication process where the fingers will be authenticated” Odinye said, noting that the process took between one to three minutes.
The Resident Electoral Commissioner who was at the scene explained that “if the card readers fail, so to speak, then the voters have a choice to fill a form and still vote”, Odinye said, adding that the process was going well altogether.
Also in Kano State, Channels Television Correspondent, Idris Jibrin, said that the exercise was going on smoothly, except for some cards not matching the biometric data of the owner.
In response to this challenge, the INEC Commissioner in Kano, Abdullahi Danyaya, said that they had already anticipated this kind of problem, disclosing that it is been taken care of by the issuance of accreditation cards to each voter whose thumb print was not accepted.