IVED Will Eliminate PVCs Theft For Voting — INEC

By Publisher
5 Min Read
Chairman of the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), Mahmood Yakubu

The Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) says INEC Voter Enrolment Device (IVED), will eliminate the possibility of voting by identity theft using another person’s Permanent Voter Cards (PVCs) on election day.

INEC Chairman, Prof. Mahmood Yakubu stated this while addressing media executives on Tuesday in Abuja. IVED is the commission’s new voter enrolment and voter verification device.

Yakubu said that while working on the register of voters INEC was continuously innovating on how to strengthen the credibility of voter accreditation and result management process during elections in Nigeria.

The innovations, according to Yakubu, include the introduction of the machine-readable Permanent Voter Card (PVC) and the Smart Card Reader (SCR), as well as uploading of polling unit, results in real-time on Election Day. He said, however, for some time, many stakeholders had called on the INEC to strengthen the voter accreditation process during elections.

He said this was especially with reference to the use of incident form where the SCR failed to authenticate the fingerprints of voters.

“Such concern is legitimate given the fact that the SCR successfully verifies any card that belongs to the polling unit for which it is configured irrespective of who presents it.

“Their apprehension, therefore, is that by using the incident form to cover those whose fingerprints are not authenticated by the SCR, a voter may be able to use another person’s PVC to vote during an election.”

Yakubu said that to address the concern, INEC attempted to introduce the facial biometric authentication during accreditation using the Z-Pad tablet to complement the fingerprint process through the Card Reader. He said that this was done before the Edo Governorship election in September 2020.

“However, the Commission was not satisfied with the pilot held in the Nasarawa Central State Constituency by-election a month earlier in August 2020.

“We, therefore, suspended the idea to enable us to do some innovations; so the Z-pad was therefore only used to upload Polling Unit results to the IReV portal during elections.”

Yakubu said that over the last one year, INEC reviewed the situation and found the appropriate technology to address it. He said that the functionality of the Z-pad had now been integrated into the IVED currently used for voter registration.

“On election day, the same device will become the Bimodal Voter Accreditation System (BVAS) to be used, first, for fingerprint authentication during accreditation and where it fails for facial authentication.

“We believe that where the voter fails both the fingerprint and facial authentication, he/she will not be allowed to vote. In other words: no electronic authentication, no voting.

“We are convinced that the new machine is robust enough to further guarantee the credibility of voter authentication and transparent management of results during elections.”

Yakubu said that the commission intended to carry out a pilot exercise using the new device in Delta during the Isoko South 1 State Assembly constituency by-election holding on Saturday Sept. 11

“The BVAS will now perform the functions of both the SCR and Z-Pad in the by-election.

“Thereafter, it will be deployed in the Anambra Governorship election in November,” Yakubu added.

In his remarks, the President of the Nigeria Union of Journalists (NUJ), Mr Chris Isiguzo, commended INEC for the various innovations introduced to improve Nigeria electoral process.

He said that all democracy in the world had embraced digitisation, saying the time had come for Nigeria to fully embrace it.
Isiguzo appealed to the National Assembly members to revisit their decision on full digitalisation of the electoral process to allow electronic transmission of results.

“Reactions that trailed that from Nigerians clearly show that they operated at variance to opinions of most Nigerians“. If we must indeed deliver elections that are acceptable to Nigerians we must fully digitalise our process.

“Most of our activities today are operated electronically; voter registration and accreditation are being done electronically during elections; but unfortunately, when it comes to transmission of results we begin to collate manually.”

Credit: Daily Post.

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