Senate begins deliberation to make card reader compulsory

Sunday Nwakannma

The Senate on Wednesday started a fresh process to further amend the nation’s Electoral Act with a view to making the use of card reader compulsory for elections in Nigeria.
Tagged ‘The Electoral Act (amendment) Bill, 2021 (SB. 680),’ the proposed legislation passed first reading on Wednesday.
The Senate spokesperson, Senator Ajibola Basiru (Osun Central), sponsored the proposed legislation.
The bill seeks to amend the Electoral Act by altering the period for accreditation and voting.

It also provided for the compulsory use of card readers for accreditation.
The bill also makes provision for separate periods for accreditation and voting, with further provision that accreditation should commence by 8am and close by 1pm.
By the provisions of the proposed amendments, voting is expected to commence immediately after accreditation.

However, this is without prejudice to the fact that all voters who are already on the queue by 1pm shall be accredited.
In the proposed amendment, the accreditation process shall comprise the verification of voters using the card reader and voters register.

Furthermore, the bill provides that where the votes cast at an election in any polling unit exceeded the number of accredited voters on the voters register and card reader, the result of the election in that polling unit shall be declared void.
It also provides that another election be conducted where the result at that polling unit may affect the overall result in the constituency.

The bill also makes it compulsory for the Independent National Electoral Commission to make available to political parties or candidates in any election, upon request, the details of the number of accredited voters for the election on both the card reader and voters register used for the election.

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