The Centre for Democracy and Development, CDD, on December 13, 2014 observed the INEC mock election exercise using card reader in preparation for 2015 election.
The exercise was conducted at Abuja Municipal Area Council- Garki, Games village and CITEC Mbora Estate and Bwari Area Council in Usuma, Berger Camp and Owner Occupier. As early as 8.20 a.m., all personnel and materials were observed set up in all designated centres.
The exercise commenced at 9 a.m. with the Verification of Permanent Voter Card (PVC) using the card reader.
CDD observed that the card reader takes an average of 30 seconds to verify a PVC and overall an average of one minute to attend to a voter.
With what we have witnessed, we commend the introduction of the Card readers and PVCs as it is time saving and will check fraud thereby bringing integrity into our electoral system.
However, the very low turnout for the exercise makes it difficult to adjudge how effective the card reader maybe in the 2015 elections where at least 500 voters are expected to vote per voting point.
We also believe that poor handling and communication of the exercise by INEC marred the process, as majority of citizens had no idea the exercise was on in the designated centres.
We call on INEC to improve its publicity and communication strategy.