The Independent National Electoral Commission in Kwara State has identified non-removal of (nylon) films on the finger capture region of card readers as one of the causes of the hitches experienced with the device in the March 28 election.
It also attributed the flop to the removal of the card reader’s battery, stating that the process required that the device must be reconfigured before it could be used.
The commission, in a memo sent to the supervisory and presiding polling officers by the state Resident Electoral Commissioner, Dr. Emmanuel Onucheyo, gave some directives to the officers to forestall a repeat of the challenges.
The memo read, “Ensure the card readers are properly charged before handing them to supervisory/presiding officers. Ensure that the batteries are not removed for any reason whatsoever. If in any case, the batteries are removed, contact the administrators for reconfiguration. Ensure all the nylon film, covering the finger capture area, is removed before use.
“The SPOs should be re-educated about the card readers and their importance.”
The Public Relations Officer of the commission, Mr. Ayanda Jacob, said the earlier hiccups could be avoided if the officers complied with the directives.
He said, “The essence of passing the memo is to avoid the challenges we faced in the last elections. It is faster for card readers to identify registered voters if the nylon on the finger capture area is removed. Some presiding officers did not do so. Some officers also removed the devices’ batteries and by so doing, they stopped working properly untill they were reconfigured.
“Generators have been provided to fully charge the batteries and each battery lasts for about 12 hours.”
Jacob stated further that both sensitive and non-sensitive election materials had been moved to the 16 local government areas of the state, adding that the commission had made proper arrangements to ensure that the Saturday’s poll was more effective.