NIGERIA'S ELECTORAL COMMISSION TO TEST ELECTRONIC VOTING SYSTEM

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Independant National Electoral Commission (INEC) said last week that it would test run the controversial Electronic Voting System (EVS) in the planned revalidation of voters register next January. Chairman of the commission Prof. Maurice Iwu, announced the new date for the revalidation of voters registrar at meeting with the Resident Electoral Commissioners (REC). The INEC chairman who slammed critics of the EVS, however denied importation of "any specific equipment for any of the components of EVs for the 2007 general election. Although he admitted that the commission "had studied many types of instrument for each aspect of the EVs, the chairman insisted that the Commission was yet to select any of the components. "It was only last month that we initiated the process of even choosing the companies that would be prequalified to bid for the pilot scole phase of EVs," Iwu said.

He said the commission is set to test run the EVs in the revalidation of voters exercise scheduled to kick off January 1. He said that the exercise unlike the practice in 2003, would be a continuous one, until 2007 election. Prof Iwu said "what this new format entails is that (REC) office must always be ready and accessible to voters to come into either register or ensure that he/she has her data correctly entered." The chairman further stated that the introduction of EVs would make it difficult for those against the system to continue to control and cheat the people.