The Independent National Electoral Commission said it met on Monday to consider field reports from the public demonstration of Smart Card Readers conducted in 12 states on Saturday.
The states were Rivers and Delta (South-South), Kano and Kebbi (North-West), Anambra and Ebonyi (South East), Ekiti and Lagos (South West), Bauchi and Taraba (North East) as well as Niger and Nasarawa (North Central).
A statement issued by the Chief Press Secretary to the chairman of the commission, Mr. Kayode Idowu in Abuja on Tuesday, said INEC observed that its decision to deploy SCRs for the 2015 general elections had four main objectives.
These objectives, according to him were to verify Permanent Voter cards presented by voters at polling units and ensure that they are genuine, INEC-issued (not cloned) cards.
He said that from the reports on Saturday?s exercise, this objective was achieved 100 per cent.
Another one according to him, was to biometrically authenticate the person who presents a PVC at the polling unit and ensure that he/she is the legitimate holder of the card.
In this regard, he said there were a few issues in some states during the public demonstration, but added that overall, 59 per cent of voters who turned out for the demonstration had their fingerprints successfully authenticated.
Nevertheless, he added that the commission, in agreement with registered political parties, had provided in the approved Guidelines for the conduct of the 2015 elections that where biometric authentication of a legitimate holder of a genuine PVC becomes challenging, there could be physical authentication of the person and completion of an Incident Form, to allow the person to vote.
Another reason for the exercise, he added, was that the SCRs provided what he described as disaggregated data of accredited voters in male/female and elderly/youth categories.
He said this disaggregation was vital for research and planning purposes, but which INEC until now had been unable to achieve. The demonstration on Saturday fully served this objective.
Idowu said, ?The SCR sends the data of all accredited voters to INEC?s central server, equipping the Commission to be able to audit figures subsequently filed by polling officials at the PU and thereby, be able to determine if fraudulent alterations were made. The public demonstration also succeeded in this regard.?
He said the commission nevertheless took a serious view of the high rate of the SCRs? failure to authenticate voters? fingerprints in some areas, particularly in Ebonyi State, and has decided to thoroughly investigate the cause; as well as repeat the public demonstration in that state.
He said this demonstration will be conducted in the particular Registration Area involved in the last exercise, namely Izzi Unuhu (Abakaliki Local Government Area); as well as in Ibii/Oziza Registration Area (Afikpo North LGA).
Although he mentioned that the repeat demonstration will be on Saturday, he added that the commission was satisfied with the last Saturday?s exercise.
He said, ?INEC is satisfied that the use of SCRs in the 2015 general elections will add tremendous transparency and credibility to the accreditation process on Election Day.
?The Commission hereby reassures the public that it will do everything necessary to ensure that the processes of the elections are seamless, free, fair, credible and peaceful.?