ODAHIEKWU OGUNDE, Yenagoa
The Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) says Bayelsa State has done pretty well in its response to the Continuous Voter Registration (CVR) as the electoral umpire marks the end of third quarter of the exercise which started in June 2021 and ended on March 22, 2022.
The INEC Resident Electoral Commissioner (REC), Bayelsa State, Dr Emmanuel Alex-Hart, gave the commendation at a press briefing in Yenagoa, the state capital.
Alex-Hart said the quarterly break was to allow for the display of the Preliminary Register of Voters (PRV) for claims and objections, handling of complaints and running of Automated Biometric Identification System (ABIS) for the CVR data.
He said the activities would run from 23rd March to 10th April, 2022.
Alex-Hart said: “Since the beginning of the exercise in June last year, Bayelsa people have done pretty well in their response. As at 21st of March, 2022, online pre-registration was 393,129 and those who have contributed their in-person registration is 226,900.
“The over 166,000 other registrants need to go to the nearest INEC designated points to complete the process in order to be effectively registered.
“May I also remind you that on 8th March, 2022, we devolved to registration areas level based on a scheduled timetable for the rotation of the INEC Voter Enrolment Device (IVED) to communities with the aim of ensuring that the twin challenge of distance and terrain will not hinder those in the remote areas.
“Also worthy of note is the creation of new Polling Units (PUs) which was done last year before the CVR exercise began. Bayelsa State has 440 new PUs in addition to the 1,804 PUs prior to the 2019 general elections. The total number of polling units in Bayelsa State now is 2,244.”
He emphasised that the new units needed voters to make them viable, stressing that new registrants alone could not fill them up.
Alex-Hart advised old registrants to verify, take advantage of new location and apply for transfers to the new units.
The REC said the measure would ensure that by the 30th of June 2022, when the CVR exercise would stop to enable the umpire to prepare for the 2023 elections, the units would have the minimum required number of eligible voters.
Alex-Hart added: “The notice of election was published on 28th of February 2022 in compliance with the schedule of activities as detailed in the election timetable for 2023.
“I want to point out that the Electoral Act 2022 which is the guide for the 2023 elections has activities that are time-bound. Therefore, all stakeholders are expected to take note of this and comply with the schedule accordingly.
“The CVR will continue next quarter from 11th of April 2022 and end on 30th June 2022. All eligible registrants will be notified when PVCs are ready for collection.”