Smart Card Reader no longer useful, says INEC

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Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) on Wednesday declared that the smart card reader, whose introduction into the electoral system in 2015, to be a game-changer, has outlived its usefulness.

The agency came hard on the judiciary and politicians, blaming them for the nation’s electoral woes.

INEC’s National Commissioner of Information and Voter Education, Festus Okoye said that the smart card reader has lost relevance because the courts do not recognize it as a means to prove over-voting.

Okoye who spoke in Abuja yesterday said the courts still rely on voter registration and election results as means of proving over-voting.

“We must also find a solution to the issue of the smart card reader. The smart card reader has lost its efficacy. The smart card reader has lost its vibrancy in relation to the electoral process because the political elite has found a way around it.

“So, rather than use the smart card reader, they just ignore it, because ultimately, they know that when they get to the court, what the court will be saying is that: ‘you want to prove over voting? We want to see the voter register and we want the INEC forms and not the smart card reader’.

“So, as far as I am concerned, the smart card reader has become a redundant instrument and inconsequential,” Okoye said.

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