The Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) has said that its quest to expand the existing polling units (PUs) across the country was to bring the units closer to the people, particularly at public places.
INEC’s National Commissioner and Chairman, Information and Voter Education Committee (IVEC), Festus Okoye, said this on Friday in Abuja at a technical workshop for heads of its electoral operations department on the implementation of voter access to polling units.
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He said that the availability and access to PUs have been dwindling over the years and that existing PUs in overcrowded places are prone to violence.
Okoye said that the PUs to be relocated would provide opportunities for new registrants to access them for better voting experiences.
He assured that INEC would continue to engage the National Assembly to expedite action on amending the Constitution to accommodate new initiatives that would enhance more participation of eligible voters in the country.
Speaking earlier, National Commissioner and Chairman Electoral Operations and Logistics Committee, Prof Okechukwu Ibeanu, assured that all challenges hindering eligible voters from participating in the nation’s electoral process will be addressed before the 2023 General Elections.
While saying that the workshop was to build the capacity of officers on the proposed conversion of voting points (VPs) to PUs across the country, he said that all the PUs that were badly located would also be relocated for easy access by eligible voters.
He said the commission failed in its previous attempts because the initiative was politicised by stakeholders.
He said, “The availability of PUs to voters have been dwindling and efforts to expand have been unsuccessful because the commission has not been tactical in its approach, hence the renewed effort to start consultations and engagements with stakeholders across the country to seek a buy-in to solve the problem that has affected the electoral system in the past 25 years.”