The Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) has extended the gubernatorial election in Anambra State to Sunday.
Earlier in the day, INEC through an official statement by the State Electoral Commission, Dr. Nwachukwu Orji had extended close of voting from 2.30pm to 4pm due to the mass failure of the card reader machines in the election reported almost in every polling unit in the 21 LGAs of the state.
His statement said that: “The Presiding Officer must inform the voters and polling agents that accreditation and voting for the affected Polling Unit shall continue tomorrow or at another time determined by the Commission. With this extension of time and the recommencement of accreditation where the BVAS consistently malfunctions, the Commission assures that no voter will be disenfranchised.
Orji noted further that: “The extension of time arose out of several field reports that voters have had problems with accreditation. The Commission is currently investigating the reason the accreditation devices, Bimodal Voter Accreditation System (BVAS), have worked perfectly in some Polling Units, but not in others. In some of the cases, it would seem that this resulted from software glitches. Our technicians have already built an update to the devise software to prevent further challenges.
The update is currently being installed in the concerned BVAS and we request voters, candidates and agents to be patient and allow our technical staff to solve the problem.”
Further, INEC assured that in addition to cases of sustained malfunction of the BVAS,
our deployment has also been adversely affected by transportation challenges in some locations. It must be noted that on account of security concerns, some of the transporters that were mobilized and collected 50% of their sign on fee backed out at the last moment, leaving some of our ad-hoc staff stranded. Also, some of the trained ad-hoc staff backed out at the last moment. The Commission is on top of these challenges and extant regulations and guidelines will be applied on a case by case bases. Consequently, we are harvesting areas where voting will realistically no longer take place today, including places where substantial disruption has occurred, to enable a possible recommencement of voting at another time, in line with extant laws and the regulations and guidelines of the Commission.”