Dr Nkwachukwu Orji, the REC; Resident Electoral Commissioner in charge of Anambra,announced on Monday that Polling booths should henceforth to be positioned in a way that voters don’t get to see how other voters cast their votes during elections. He told the News Agency of Nigeria said that it was to make it so that nobody knows who voted for who.
The measure will fight against the issue of massive vote-buying reported in recent elections in the country, including the governorship election in Ekiti, which analysts said, was characterised by vote-buying.
“The commission is considering re-arranging the way polling booths are positioned during elections to make it difficult for anybody to see the place a voter voted,’’ Orji said
He described vote-buying as another big threat to democracy that needed everyone to join hands with Independent National Electoral Commission to eradicate.
“INEC cannot check the problem of vote buying alone. It is a crime that security agents, members of the public who collect the money and politicians who buy the votes must come together to tackle.’’
The INEC chief also called on eligible persons who were yet to register in the on-going continuous voter registration in Anambra to do so before the August 17 deadline.
He noted that the registration would not be extended beyond Aug.17, pointing out that “from today we have 1,985 days to the general elections’’.
Orji said that on Aug.17, INEC would issue notice of election, indicating that the 2019 general election was good to go and that party primaries would follow between this month and next month.
“In Anambra State, the registration is now taking place from Sunday to Saturday, beginning from 9am to 5 pm daily and our officials are in all the 21 Local Government Areas.
“We have functional machines, enough manpower and materials for the exercise and we encourage all eligible persons to take advantage of this opportunity to register.’’
Orji, who also stressed the importance of enlightenment and voter education to successful elections, appealed to the media to do more in educating Nigerians on electoral activities, ahead of the elections.
On uncollected PVCs, he said that INEC doesn’t have too many uncollected Permanent Voters Cards in Anambra but advised those yet to pick theirs to come up and collect them.
“We intend to photocopy the uncollected PVCs in our custody and paste it for public viewing and after that send bulk SMS to the owners because we want everybody to have his or her PVC before the elections,’’ Orji said.