The performance of the card readers in Saturday’s supplementary governorship election in Bayelsa State has been hailed by both voters and observers participating in the exercise.
The card readers, which were first introduced in Nigeria’s electoral process in the 2015 general elections for voters’ accreditation, was often associated with some technical glitches making the Independent National Electoral Commission, INEC, to complement the technology with manual accreditation of voters.
But in what seemed like a commendation for the electoral umpire in Southern Ijaw Local Government Area and in 101 units in other parts of Bayelsa State, where supplementary governorship election held on Saturday, some voters and election observers said the lapses, which the card readers recorded in the December 5, 2015 election, were corrected to a large extent.
Mr James Dou, a domestic election observer, told NAN in Anyama-Ijaw that the card readers deployed to the area performed effectively.
“The card readers are performing well and we have no problems with it; INEC did well and corrected the problems noticed during the cancelled polls, last year”, Dou said.
At Peremabiri community, a voter, Timi Pokumo, said that he was impressed with the performance of the device.
According to him, in Koulama 1 and Koulama 2, and Okolobama, the card readers were working well and were used for authenticating Permanent Voter Cards (PVCs) and for accreditation.
It was learnt that voting and accreditation, which commenced simultaneously in polling stations in Southern Ijaw, did not take-off in some polling units due to late arrival of election materials.
Particularly affected in the delay were Koluama 1, Koluama 2 as well as Peremabiri units where the exercise started by 12 Noon.
NAN reports that voters’ turn-out was impressive in all the units and wards in Southern Ijaw and conduct of the exercise was peaceful.