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INEC to convert voting points to polling units

INEC to convert voting points to polling units
March 24
22:13 2021

The Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) says it plans to convert existing voting points to full-fledged polling units (PUs).

While polling units are fixed centres for individuals to exercise their electoral right, voting points — according to INEC — are created out of polling units “based on multiples of 500 and a maximum of 750 registered voters or as may be determined by the commission”.

Speaking with journalists on Wednesday in Abuja, Festus Okoye, INEC national commissioner in charge of information and voter education, said one of the programmes the commission has mapped out towards the 2023 general election is expanding voter access to polling units.

Okoye said INEC conducted the 2019 general election with over 57,000 voting points tied to the main polling units.

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He also noted that the commission has been working towards converting those voting points into full-fledged polling units and take them to underserved areas.

“We have also consulted with the national economic council, under the leadership of the vice-president of the federal republic of Nigeria, made up of the various state governors and they have endorsed it,” Okoye said.

“We have also made presentation to the federal executive council, which has also endorsed what we intend to do.

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“So, we have almost concluded with the consultations. The moment we are done with the consultation in the next weeks or so, we will move to implementation. This implementation will take place at the level of the local government areas and state levels, because that is where this conversion will take place.

“So at the local government areas and at the state levels, we will also consult with key stakeholders in those areas in relation to how many of the voting points will become polling units, those that will be moved, and where they will be moved to.

“So, we are using our Geographic Information System (GIS) laboratory to produce the map of all the local government areas in Nigeria, based on where the polling units are located, where the voting points are located and where we have underserved and unserved areas, where we have either schools or public facilities, where we can locate some of these voting point that will be converted to polling units.”

Okoye said the moment the commission is done with the implementation of the polling units expansion, it will resume the continuous voters registration exercise.

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