As the Independent National Electoral Commission, INEC has commenced another round of the Continuous Voter Registration, CVR, exercise which commenced on June 28, 2021 nationwide, it is expected that about seven hundred thousand voters and transfers would be made in Enugu State. The state resident electoral commissioner, REC, Emeka Ononamadu, who dropped the hint Monday while addressing stakeholders to sensitize them on the need for the exercise, said whereas fourteen million, 14,000,000 new registrants are expected nationwide, it is also expected the about 700,000 would register in the state.
Ononomadu however disclosed that the registration would commence online first before the physical registration would take place.
He explained that INEC chose the registration online as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic and to give prospective voters better opportunity to register without coming out to queue as it was done in the past.
He also explained that to make this process easier and accessible, INEC has evolved a new registration machine that would capture voters data better.
“Among the equipment for the exercise is a new registration machine called INEC Voter Enrolment Device, IVED. This device is built around the concept of a Tablet computer and will replace the laptop based old Direct Data Capture Machine, DDCM.
” This new method is aimed at reducing queue inline with COVID-19 safety protocols as well as ensuring speed and inclusiveness as the Commission targets about 14 million new registrants nationwide, INEC State office Enugu targets over 700,000 new registrants and transferees,” Ononomadu explains.
He pointed out that in their desire to serve Nigerians better, they have dedicated a portal online registration whereby intending voters can register online conveniently using their phones, laptops and other electronic gadgets without bordering to go to registration points.
“Ladies and gentlemen, in our desire to serve citizens better during this CVR, and in response to repeated calls by stakeholders, the Commission has introduced a dedicated online registration. The idea is for intending registrants to commence the process of online by filling forms and uploading their pictures and required data and documents, before making appointment on the web portal for a date and time to visit our state office here in Enugu or any of the 17 local government area offices of INEC to give their fingerprints and complete the registration.
” In addition, those who are already registered as voters can carry out all the other activities such as transfers, correction of personal details and replacement of damaged or defaced Permanent Voters’Card, PVCs, online.
“We hope that through this portal, we shall reduce overcrowding at our registration centres, especially in the context of the COVID-19 pandemic, make the registration processes easier, thereby giving Nigerians a pleasant electoral experience,” he points out.
The resident electoral commissioner, REC, Ononomadu noted that by this process, INEC will ensure that no voter would be disenfranchised especially since the exercise will come at no cost to the voter but is free.
“I must reiterate that the Commission has severally made it known that the online registration is a public service and therefore free of charge. You can use your phone, tablet, desktop, laptop or you can use a cybercafe.
” There is no INEC-approved cybercafe, no online registration centre and no scratch card to be purchased for the exercise. All you need do is a device, including your mobile phones that can connect to the internet. Citizens can complete the online preregistration anywhere and at any time they choose, ” he explains.
Ononamdu however allayed the fears of those that may not have access to register online.
“At this point, let me allay the fears expressed by some citizens that many prospective registrants may be disenfranchised by the new digital arrangement. The Commission is aware that not all Nigerians have computers, smart phones, access to the internet or residing in urban and suburban areas. Some citizens may also have one form of disability or another to make it impossible for them to register online, therefore, some centres have been created where citizens can register physically nationwide. No eligible Nigerian who desires to vote will be disenfranchised or left unregistered,” he assures.