Mark faults use of card readers

Senate President David Mark has expressed reservation over the use of card reader machines for the accreditation exercise.

Voting commenced on time in many polling centers in Otukpo as accreditation was conducted early.

There were no reported cases of violence in polling units visited by our correspondent in Makurdi and Otukpo.

Mark, who spoke immediately after casting his vote at the Otukpo Ward 1 polling unit, on Saturday evening pointed out that the machine has generated challenges that could disenfranchise some voters.

According to him, due to no fault of the voters, the card reader machines are creating stumbling blocks for voters, a situation he said vindicated those that clamoured for the use of the Permanent Voter Cards (PVCs) and the Temporary Voter Cards (TVCs) simultaneously.

MarkWhen asked if the challenges presented by the card reader machines could affect the credibility of the polls, the Senate President said “INEC should have made adequate arrangement to make sure that they rectify the card readers that are not working either by replacing or repairing it as the case may be.

“But they should have envisaged that when they are deploying thousands of machines like these. If they didn’t make adequate arrangement then that’s where the problem is.”

On his assessment of the polls so far, Mark noted that he can only speak for his polling unit, but with reports from other centers, INEC must act immediately to rectify the situation.

“Since I’m restricted to my polling unit I can only speak for what I see here but reports from some other places are not satisfactory.

“With the reports I’m getting from outside, it means there is a need for INEC to begin to monitor quickly now before things get out of control.
“I say this because there are some places where I was told that he INEC officials told the voters that he will stop accreditation by 1:00pm regardless of the number of people on the queue yet to be accredited.

“That is not the instruction but when people on the field begin to misinterpret instructions is a possible source of commotion.
“Unfortunately I got reports from other units outside that the card readers are not performing well, with failures in several areas,” the Senate President added.

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