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‘BVAS hitches, missing voter names’ — Yiaga Africa releases findings on mock accreditation

‘BVAS hitches, missing voter names’ — Yiaga Africa releases findings on mock accreditation
February 11
08:15 2023

Yiaga Africa, a civil society organisation (CSO), has published its findings on the mock accreditation exercise recently conducted by the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC).

On February 4, INEC conducted the mock accreditation in parts of the country.

In its report, YIAGA highlighted its observations on the use of the bimodal voter accreditation system (BVAS) devices, uploading of result sheets to the viewing portal, presence of security operatives and party agents, voter turnout, as well as the issue of missing names on the voters’ register.

“At least four polling officials were present in the polling units where the mock exercise held with an average of one female official. Security personnel were also present in 82% of the polling units,” the report reads in part.

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“Party agents for APC were present in 61% of polling units, party agents for PDP were present in 56% of polling units, party agents for LP were present in 22% of polling units, NNPP party agents in 13% of polling units, SDP party agents in 9% of polling units and party agents for APGA in 8% of polling units.

“In 98% of polling units, the BVAS functioned properly. However, in 2% of polling units, the BVAS malfunctioned, and it was fixed. For instance, the BVAS malfunctioned in Zinaria International Sch, Mararaba PU (25-04-11-111) in Karu ward of Karu LGA in Nasarawa, Tsamiyan Gwamna PU (08-04-01-007) in Balbaya ward of Bayo LGA in Borno, Sarkin Noma, GDSS Dakka PU (34-02-09-007) of Gang Dole ward in Bali LGA, Taraba and S/Gari Jaka Mai Famfo/Kofar PU (36-08-06-007) of Kungurki ward in Kaura Nomoda LGA Zamfara. The malfunctioning of the device did not significantly disrupt the process .

“Yiaga Africa observers reported cases of missing names of the voter register. In 11% of polling units, voters whose names were not on the register of voters and the BVAS were denied accreditation.

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“55% of observers indicated they were very satisfied with the conduct of the mock exercise, 40% of observers reported they were satisfied and, 4% of observers indicated they were not satisfied with the conduct of the mock accreditation exercise.

“Of the 36 states and the FCT, only 15 states uploaded data on the IReV during the mock accreditation. The states include Abia, Adamawa, Akwa-Ibom, Anambra, Bayelsa, Ebonyi, Edo, Ekiti, Gombe, Ondo, Rivers, Plateau, Oyo, Taraba and Sokoto.

“Only 82 Polling units uploaded the total number of accredited voters on the BVAS, to the IReV portal. All the 15 states that uploaded mock result sheets on the IReV also transmitted accreditation data except Oyo, Plateau, Edo and Ebonyi states. Of the 94 result sheets uploaded, only 16 result sheets were clear and readable.

“Yiaga Africa observed discrepancies in the total number of accredited voters uploaded by the BVAS and the total number of accredited voters recorded on the mock result sheets.”

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In its recommendations, Yiaga Africa asked INEC to make its report on the BVAS testing public; notify voters via text message, emails or phone calls on migration of polling units; proper education of electoral officials on recording results to avoid discrepancies; and for INEC to ensure that all BVAS devices are in top condition before deployment for the general election.

You can read the full report here.

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