BAYELSA ELECTIONS: Why We Can’t Stop Fake, Hired Voters From Voting – INEC

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The Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) has admitted that the commission cannot stop suspected and fake voters from voting as long as they present valid permanent voter cards (PVCs).

The commission spoke in response to allegations of the presence of fake voters in the state, who were said to have been brought by politicians to distort the outcome of the governorship election in the state.

According to INEC’s Public Relations Officer in the state, Timidi Wariowei, the electoral umpire was incompetent to intercept or prevent persons who succeeded in the updated registration recently undertaken in the state from casting their votes.

He, however, stressed that it was the duty of security agents and residents to fish out manipulators and ensure they were prevented from circumventing the electoral process.

“There is nothing we can do if someone comes to the polling booth with a valid PVC, even if we have reservations. If they have successfully registered for the exercise before, we cannot prevent them from voting.

“However, the onus falls on the people of the community and the security agents to fish them out and do the needful. It is the residents who can identify themselves and they are the ones who would be able to point fingers at infiltrators because they know themselves,” he stated.

Wariowei also disclosed that the distribution of card readers, result sheets and ballot papers was ongoing in all 105 wards of the state, just as he hinted that the commission was awaiting the delivery of collation result sheets today or early tomorrow morning. (sic)

To prevent the substitution of genuine voting materials with cloned copies, the INEC image-maker said that the movement of materials would be heavily policed while party agents would be involved in the exercise.

He added that: “The inspector general of police during the stakeholders’ meeting we had on Tuesday said that he was deploying about 14,000 police officers in the state. So, all the stages of the process are heavily-policed and secured .We are also involving all the party agents in the movement of sensitive materials to prevent cloning and hijacking.”

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