Polling unit expansion to address low voter turnout, improve COVID-19 protocol – INEC

INEC to conduct by-election for Rimba/Ebagi Ward of Abaji Area Council on April 24
INEC

The Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) on Thursday said that the objective of expanding the polling unit is to address low voter turnout, among others.

The Resident Electoral Commissioner in Jigawa, Dr. Mahmuda Isah, said this at a stakeholders’ meeting on expanding voter access to polling units in Dutse.

Isah said that other objectives are to improve the health safety conditions at polling units in compliance with COVID-19 protocol during the 2023 General Elections.

The expansion, he said, is also to digest exiting polling units by reducing the number of voters per polling unit and ensure better access at polling units for persons with disability.

“A practical review conducted by the commission in 2014 revealed that many polling units recorded excess number of voters.

“Some units exceeded the designated figure of 500 voters per polling unit to a couple of over 4,000 registered voters,” Isah said.

According to him, this ugly development informed the need for the reorganisation of polling units in order to pave way for voters’ easy access to polling units during elections.

He, however, said that before a polling unit is allocated to an area, certain things would be taken into consideration, including that such a location must be a public place and accessible.

Isah said under no circumstances should a polling unit be in private compounds, royal palaces, residence of government officials, political party buildings, places designated for religious worship, among others.

The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that a cross-section of the stakeholders expressed happiness over the new development regarding polling unit expansion.

They also urged the commission to facilitate the quick implementation of the new units in order to reduce crowd, violence at the overcrowded polling units and allow new voters to exercise their rights.

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