The Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) in Ondo State yesterday said it has identified and deleted names of dead persons from the state’s voter registers in its preparation for the general elections.
The Resident Electoral Commissioner (REC) in Ondo State, Rufus Akeju, who made the disclosure at a press briefing with reporters in Akure said that INEC had already displayed the list of registered voters in all the 18 local government areas of the state.
According to him, a total number of 1, 828, 219 people were registered in the state and reiterated that a total of 398, 958 permanent voter’s cards (PVC) were yet to be collected.
“This exercise (display of register of voters) was carried out in this state in the last quarter of the year 2018.
“Quite a number of claims raised during the exercise were treated and names of dead persons that are still in the register were identified for deletion.
“The statistics of PVCs distribution in the state as at 2nd January 2019 is; total number of registered voters – 1,828,219 and total number of uncollected PVCs in the state are 398,958,” he said.
Akeju, who spoke through Assistant Director, Voter Education, Mrs. Yemi Oguntuase, explained that a total of 41 senatorial contestants, and 96 federal constituency contestants, would be participating in the 2019 general elections exercise in Ondo State.
He added that both the Presidential and National Assembly elections and that of the State Assembly would hold in 3,007 polling units of the state on February 16, and March 2, 2019.
The REC, however, stated that INEC was fully prepared for the elections stressing that the electoral umpire with the Inter-Agency Consultative Committee on Election Security had been working to ensure peaceful, credible, free and fair 2019 elections.
He stated that the members of the National Youth Service Corps (NYSC) would be constituting the bulk of ad-hoc staff that would be deployed for the polls due to existing MoU between INEC and NYSC.
The Smart Card Readers, according to the REC, will be used during the general elections in order to confirm that the PVC presented by the voter is genuinely issued by the INEC and to also verify if the holder is truly the bonafide owner.
Mr Akeju also disclosed that INEC has zero tolerance for “vote buying”, adding that the use of smart phones in the voting cubicles would be banned.
“We are reviewing the administration of polling units to enhance secrecy of vote by locating the voting cubicle outside the glare of party agents.
“We are also enhancing the ability of visually impaired person to vote without assistance and addressing abuses in the process of assisted voting for non-literate voters who will be requesting such assistance to protect the secrecy of their vote,” he said.
He said that the commission was trying its best to educate and sensitize the electorate on the need to eschew violence in the elections.