The Independent National Electoral Commission, INEC, will on Saturday conduct field-testing of the smart card readers to be used for the forthcoming general elections.
The test run will hold in 12 states of the federation.
The card readers will be tested in 225 polling units and 358 voting points across 12 registrations areas, popularly called wards, in two states from each of the six geo-political zones of Nigeria.
The Chief Press Secretary to the INEC Chairman, Kayode Idowu, made the disclosure in a statement Friday.
The states in which the exercise will be conducted are Rivers and Delta States (South-South); Ebonyi and Anambra States (South-East); Lagos and Ekiti States (South-West); Taraba andand Bauchi States (North-East); Kano and Kebbi States (North-West); Nasarawa and Niger States (North-Central).
The affected registration areas and the local government areas in which they are include Oromenike ward 1 in Port Harcourt Local Government Area, Rivers State; Izzi Unuhu ward, Abakaliki, Ebonyi State; Dalimore ward, Ado Ekiti, Ekiti State; Mutum Biyu ward, Gassol, Taraba State; Danmaliki ward, Kumbotso, Kano State; Raha ward, Bunza, Kebbi State; Garaku ward, Kokona, Nasarawa State; Shiroro, Egwa/Gwada ward, Niger State; Onigbongbo ward, Ikeja, Lagos State; Igboukwu ward, Aguata, Anambra State; Umuezei ward, Oshimili South, Delta State; and Jama’are ‘B’ Jama’are, Bauchi State.
The number of registered voters in the 12 wards enlisted for the exercise amounts to 171,857.
Voters in these wards are free to go through the card reading exercise with their permanent voter cards, INEC said.
The INEC Chairman, Attahiru Jega, has stressed the use of card readers for accreditation in the March 28 and April 11 elections will combat electoral manipulation.
But there is strong opposition against the application.
At least five political parties have opposed the use of card readers, arguing it is a “new technology” with prospect of failure during the electioneering process and that it is illegal.
Members of the Peoples Democratic Party in the Senate had opposed the use of card reader when Mr. Jega was invited to brief the lawmakers and demonstrate the working of the device weeks ago.
However, the Senate President, David Mark, announced the approval of the upper legislative house for INEC to use card readers.