May 17, 2021

Election 2023: Senate moves to make card readers compulsory

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In the Senate on Wednesday, a bill, which seeks to make the use of Card Readers compulsory for accreditation of voters scaled first reading in the Senate on Wednesday. The bill which is titled: “Electoral Act (Amendment) Bill, 2021”, it was sponsored by Senator Surajudeen Ajibola Basiru (Osun Central).

The bill seeks to amend Section 47 of the Electoral Act by inserting a new section “47(2)”.

The new section seeks to alter the period for accreditation and voting as well as provide for the compulsory use of card readers for accreditation.

Among other proposals, the bill makes provision for separate periods for accreditation and voting, and for accreditation to commence by 8:00am and close by 1:00pm.

If the proposal scales through, voting will now begin immediately after accreditation.

However, “this is without prejudice to the fact that all voters who are already on the queue by 1:00pm shall be accredited”.

“In the proposed amendment to the Electoral Act,” according to Basiru, “the accreditation process shall comprise of the verification of voters using the Card Reader and Register of Voters.”

The bill further provides that “where the votes cast at an election in any polling unit exceeds the number of accredited voters on the voters’ register and card reader in any polling unit, the result of the election in that polling unit shall be declared void and another election conducted where the result at that polling unit may affect the overall result in the constituency”.

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