The Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) has extended voting for the Anambra governorship election to Sunday due to the hitches encountered with the Biomodal Voter Accreditation System (BVAS).
This was announced by Dr. Nkwachukwu Orji, INEC Residential Electoral Commissioner (REC) for Anambra State, at a press conference on Saturday.
The malfunctioning of BVAS has been reported in some polling units across the state.
Orji had earlier in a statement announced the extension of voting beyond the official closing time of 2:30pm to 4pm for polling centres that encountered the BVAS disruption.
According to the INEC Anambra REC, the BVAS failed in some areas because of a software breach.
He said the extension was therefore to enable those who could not cast their votes to do so.
He said: “The extension of time arose out of several field reports that voters have had problems with accreditation. The Commission is currently investigating the reason the accreditation devices, Bimodal Voter Accreditation System (BVAS), have worked perfectly in some Polling Units, but not in others.
“In some of the cases, it would seem that this resulted from software glitches. Our technicians have already built an update to the devise software to prevent further challenges. The update is currently being installed in the concerned BVAS and we request voters, candidates and agents to be patient and allow our technical staff to solve the problem.
“The Commission wishes to reiterate that in cases of sustained malfunction of the BVAS, the Presiding Officer must inform the voters and polling agents that accreditation and voting for the affected Polling Unit shall continue tomorrow or at another time determined by the Commission. With this extension of time and the recommencement of accreditation where the BVAS consistently malfunctions, the Commission assures that no voter will be disenfranchised.”
A large number of voters at Isuofia Ward 13, polling unit 002, the polling unit of Professor Chukwuma Soludo, candidate of the All Progressives Grand Alliance (APGA), were unable to vote due to the non-functionality of the BVAS.
As of 4:30pm, only 20 persons had voted at the polling unit.
It was a similar case at the Alor Ward polling unit of Chris Ngige, Minister of Labour and Employment, in the Idemili South Local Government Area of the state on Saturday, as he battled with the BVAS system for his accreditation.
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