• Monday, May 27, 2024
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BusinessDay

Late arrival of electoral materials, card reader malfunction kill voters’ joy in Aso Rock

ballot-boxes

Late arrival of electoral materials and malfunctioning of the card readers trailed the voting process at the Aso Rock, as was the case in some parts of Abuja.

At the Aso Rock, electoral materials and officials of the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) arrived at about 10:05am while a crowd of people who had been waiting even before 8:am, had already taken numbers. Some of the voters said they had left their houses as early 5am to take a number on the queue.

There was a seemingly good turnout out of voters at the two polling units in the Presidency. However there was less than 30percent turnout at the polling centres according to the figures given.

Of the two polling units, one recorded 575 accredited voters out of 2183 registered voters while the other recorded 770 voters out of 2279 registered voters.

Accreditation started almost an hour after the arrival of the INEC officials. The accreditation lasted till about 3:45pm while voting commenced at about 4pm.

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There was no visible presence of the military. However, unarmed policemen were on ground to assist with crowd control. Men of the Strike Force patrolled the area and later left.

During the accreditation it was observed that the card readers mostly failed to acknowledge thumb prints after authenticating the data of the holder. It was noticed that only two out of five passed the thumb authentication, while the others had to be crossed checked manually thereby causing delay.

There was no issue of card reader battery running out. However, an INEC official told BD SUNDAY that they had already provided back up in case of low batteries.

She said they had come with one extra battery for each card reader.

At a polling station in Maitama, 028, officials arrived at about 9am. Most of the officials were still trying to set up on tables provided for by the community, thirty minutes after arrival.

At this polling unit a different line was created for women.

Meanwhile, at a Wuse 2 polling unit the officials started at 9:10 am but were being slowed by the card reader.

It was noticed that Seven out of nine accreditations failed the thumb printing test and had to be checked manually.

Preference was given to the aged, pregnant and disabled voters.

Elizabeth Archibong