2023: INEC unveils guidelines, allows electronic transfer of results, bans phones in voting booths

Our correspondents

The Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) released the guidelines for the conduct of the 2023 elections yesterday, almost eight months in advance.

The election arbiter unveiled the guidelines on his website and announced it on his official Twitter page, @inecnigeria.

He tweeted: “INEC Chairman Prof. Mahmood Yakubu unveiled revised INEC Regulations and Guidelines for the Conduct of Elections.”

The 37-page document, which can be downloaded from the commission’s website, contains 106 directives and regulations for the 2023 elections, as well as health measures during the conduct of the elections.

In Article 30 of the directive, the commission said that phones and electronic devices capable of taking pictures are not allowed in voting booths.

Article 30, “Prohibition on the Use of Telephones and Other Electronic/Photographic Devices at Polling Stations,” states: “Telephones and other electronic devices capable of taking photographs are not permitted at polling stations.

“Voters can come to the polls with phones and other electronic devices provided they don’t take them to voting booths or take pictures of other voters while they vote.”

In the revised directive, the INEC also, among other things, approved the electronic transmission of election results in accordance with the Electoral Law of 2022.

Article 38 on the electronic transmission of results and the uploading of results to the INEC results visualization portal (IReV) states: Unit of voting, directly to the collection system as prescribed by the Commission.

“(ii) Use the Bimodal Voter Accreditation System (BVAS) to upload a scanned copy of the EC8A to the INEC Results Viewing Portal (IReV), as directed by the Commission.

“(iii) Bring the BVAS and the original copy of each of the forms in a tamper-evident envelope to the filing officer at the registration area/neighbourhood, accompanied by security officers. Election officers may accompany the President meeting at the RA/neighbourhood assembly centre.

INEC Chairman, Prof. Mahmood Yakubu, speaking at a meeting of the Inter-Agency Advisory Committee on Election Security (ICCES) in Abuja yesterday, said that with the presentation of the guidelines, the Commission had started formal preparations for the elections.

Mahmood noted that this would be the first time the Commission released the guidelines nine months before the general election.

He stressed that the ICCES would continue to play a vital role and expressed the election arbiter’s appreciation to all security agencies for their support.

He said: “With the publication of the Regulations and Guidelines today, and the publication of the Strategic Plan (SP) 2022-2026 and the 2023 Electoral Project Plan earlier, the Commission has substantially concluded the election planning processes. of 2023 nine months in advance. of the election.

“In the coming weeks, the training manual will also be presented to Nigerians. Going forward, the Commission will focus on election administration: logistics, training, voter education, technology, awareness against vote buying, inclusion measures and, above all, security. ICCES will continue to play a vital role and the Commission appreciates the support of all security agencies.

The CENI President recalled that at the last ICCES meeting, stakeholders agreed to meet again before the next Ekiti gubernatorial election.

Yakubu said, “As is the case on the eve of all major off-cycle gubernatorial elections, ICCES is holding a special meeting to review the security situation during which the Resident Election Commissioner (REC) and Commissioner de police (CP) will inform us. on the state of preparation for the elections. I am pleased to welcome the REC of Ekiti State, Dr Adeniran Rahmon Tella, and the PC, Moronkeji Adesina to this meeting.

He said that with just 15 days to go for Ekiti’s gubernatorial election, all major activities that needed to be carried out at this stage had been successfully undertaken.

The INEC Chairman continued, “I led a team of INEC National Commissioners to Ekiti State earlier this week to assess the Commission’s preparations for the elections.

“We visited our offices in several local government areas, held meetings with our staff, had an audience with the Council of Obas to seek their Royal Majesties’ support for peaceful elections and met with security agencies.

“We also observed the continued training of ad-hoc staff and the deployment of the Bimodal Voter Accreditation System (BVAS) for mock voter accreditation at select voting units in all three Senate precincts in the state.

“We will return to Ekiti State again shortly to meet with the stakeholders and for the signing of the Peace Accord by the political parties and candidates under the auspices of the National Peace Committee.

“As the Commission prepares for the election of Governor of Ekiti State, we have also gone far with similar preparations for the election of Governor of Osun State to be held next month, i.e. Saturday, July 16, 2022.”

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