FCT council poll: BVAS machines failed to authenticate fingerprints, facial biometrics of voters – Yiaga Africa – Blueprint Newspapers Limited

Yiaga Africa has observed that the Bimodal Voter Accreditation System (BVAS) machines failed to authenticate both the fingerprints and facial biometrics of voters in some polling units visited, causing further delay to the process of accreditation.  
He said based on observation, at some polling units, INEC deployed two BVAS machines, some others with over 1000 registered voters had only one BVAS.
Yiaga Africa further expressed concern in imbalance in the distribution of voters to new polling units which affected the effective management of polling units with over 1000 registered voters. 
During the midday situation statement on the 2022 FCT Area council election on Saturday in Abuja, the Executive Director, Samson Itodo, said this led to overcrowding in some polling units observed. 
He said the observation revealed that some polling units had as many as 2500 registered voters while others had less than 5 voters within the same location. ​​
He also noted that the inconsistencies questioned the reliability and accuracy of the Commission’s framework for the expansion of polling units. 
On the inconsistent communication on election security, Itodo noted with dismay the confusion created by the irregularity in the information from the security agencies on the restriction of movement. 
“Yiaga Africa notes that the inconsistent communication from security agencies undermines public confidence in the transparency and objectivity of security agencies during elections.  
“Given the late opening of polls and glitches with the BVAS machines, INEC should extend the voting time to 4:30 pm especially in pollings with a high turnout of voters. 
“The operational deficiencies noted in this election provide a compelling need for a comprehensive audit of the voter register, BVAS technology, elections logistics and distribution of voters to polling units. 
“INEC officials should act in the utmost sense of integrity, transparency and professionalism in the collation and declaration of election results,” he said.  
He assured that Yiaga Africa remained committed to providing accurate and credible information on the process and will continue to watch the process until the end of voting and posting of results.
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