Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) has generated addition of 1,235 polling units in Imo, bringing the total number of polling units in the country to 4,758.The country INEC Resident Electoral Commissioner (REC), Prof. Francis Ezeonu made this known while briefing newsmen on the commission’s efforts to expand voter accessibility to polling units on Wednesday at Owerri. Ezeonu said over the years, there had been efforts by the commission to make additional polling units to appeal to the interest of new settlements and regions with unmanageable voter inhabitants.
He clarified that in 2011, the commission chose to create voting points and voting settlements to address the issue of overcrowding throughout the election and new resolutions not served with present polling units. Ezeonu said the 1,235 polling units were made by converting existing voting points and voting point settlements into full polling units.
He stated the commission also relocated, where necessary, existing or new polling units to places where they had been closer or more accessible to voters and unserved areas. He explained INEC equally decongested existing polling units by lowering the number of voters per polling unit. The INEC REC reported the additional polling units were in accordance with the expectation of this law which provided that “the Commission establish the adequate number of polling units in each Registration region and allot voters to these polling units “Based on him, INEC conducted five general elections with the identical set and quantity of polling units created from the defunct National Electoral Commission in 1996 and utilized in 1999.Ezeonu said the commission will continue to improve the quality of access to electoral services provided to voters by ensuring greater access to polling units for individuals with disabilities. “The commission has also determined to improve the health and safety conditions at polling units throughout elections so as to abide by COVID-19 protocols as well as address declining voter turnout at elections due to insufficient access to polling units,” he said. The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that the REC introduced the local government areas in the state and the number of polling units assigned to each. Ezeonu said that the commission was project a verification exercise and it’d compile the brand new polling units, release their names and delineation information prior to the resumption of nationally Continuous Voter Registration (CVR) in June.
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