Flaws and success revealed in card reader machine test run for forthcoming elections
The test run of the Card Reader Machines proposed for the forthcoming general elections, carried out in 12 states, yesterday, exposed the flaws in the new voting technology introduced by the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC).
While in some states, the machines failed to recognise Permanent Voter Cards (PVCs), the machines’ batteries went down after barely few hours of operation in other states.
At Igboukwu Ward 1 in Anambra State, the Card Reader failed to recognise about half of those who presented their cards. However, at Onigbongbo ward in Lagos, the thumbprints of most prospective voters were generally recognized by the card readers.
Some residents of the area voiced their complaint about not been able to get their PVCs, despite seeing their names on the voters’ register.
Lagos State Resident Electoral Commissioner, REC, Akin Orebiyi, who monitored the exercise, commended the exercise, noting that the result had cleared doubts about the efficiency of the SCRs.
“The intention of today’s exercise is primarily to test the efficiency of the Smart Card Readers. That is why we are here. And we have achieved good results. This shows that the Card Readers are efficient. So, politicians who have doubts about the device can now see that the device will contribute to making the elections credible,” Orebiyi said.
The exercise was carried out in Lagos, Ekiti, Anambra, Ebonyi, Taraba, Bauchi and Kano. The other states where the mock accreditation exercise took place were Kebbi, Delta and Rivers States.
Anambra State REC, Edwin Nwatarali, who monitored the exercise with some of his staff, took note of the deficiencies. He however expressed happiness that there was no incidence of the Card Reader rejecting the PVCs brought to the polling stations by their owners.