Nigeria’s INEC to deploy 11K biometric voter devices for November governorship polls
The Independent National Electoral Commission of Nigeria (INEC) will deploy 11,355 biometrics-based Bimodal Voter Accreditation System (BVAS) machines for three governorship elections in the country by the end of the year.
Daily newspaper Punch reports, citing an unnamed official within INEC, that the deployment will be done for the November 11 elections in the States of Bayelsa, Imo and Kogi.
The outlet quotes the official as saying that 2,400 BVAS devices will be deployed in Bayelsa, 5,079 in Imo, and 3,876 in Kogi. The number of devices to be deployed is more than the number of polling stations in those states, understandably as a precautionary measure to handle any likely glitches during the voter accreditation process.
INEC introduced the biometric devices during the general elections of February and March with the federal government later insisting that it enhanced the transparency of the polls.
It suffered glitches notwithstanding, but the BVAS machines were used as evidence by different parties during post-election litigations.
Yiaga Africa, a civil society organization which observed the general elections in Nigeria, recently noted in its report that the introduction of the BVAS was the right step in the right direction, but administrative and legislative measures should be taken in the future to ensure that the deployment of such technologies meet certain key integrity and reliability standards.