INEC Releases Guidelines for General Elections

The Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) has released the guidelines for this year’s general election, introducing new changes in the electoral process.

One of the key changes is the simultaneous conduct of the accreditation and voting processes on election day.

Unlike in the past when voters get accredited and return at a later time for voting proper, a voter will now be able to cast his or her vote the moment they get accredited.

“Accreditation and voting shall commence at 8.00am and close at 2:00pm, provided that all voters already on the queue by 2:00pm shall be allowed for accreditation and voting,” the guidelines read.

“The accreditation process shall comprise reading of the Permanent Voter’s Card (PVC) and authentication of the voter’s fingerprint using the SCR; checking of the Register of Voters and inking of the cuticle of the specified finger of the voter.”

Card readers to play a role in the polls

The guidelines added that in the case where a smart card reader malfunctions, voting will be suspended till a new card reader arrives.

The guidelines further stated: “Telephones and other electronic devices capable of taking pictures are not allowed in voting cubicles. Voters may come to the Polling Unit with telephones and other electronic devices provided that they do not take them to the voting cubicles or take pictures of other while they are voting.”

Meanwhile, some 61 political parties recently rejected some clauses in the guidelines — including simultaneous accreditation and voting — and threatened to sue INEC over the matter.

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