INEC Commissioner to electorate: Even with PVCs, you may not vote

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The National Commissioner of the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) in charge of Oyo, Ogun and Ekiti States, Professor Lai Olurode,‎ has declared that possession of Permanent Voter Cards (PVCs) would not guarantee voting on election day.
Olurode also declared that despite the efforts put in place by the electoral commission, hundred percent distribution of PVC for the March 28 and April 11 general elections may not be feasible.
He disclosed this at the INEC office in Magbon, Abeokuta while briefing reporters on the preparations of the commission for the elections.
The INEC chief, who stated that ‎having PVC does not guarantee voting on election day, said anybody whose name was not found on voters’ register would not be allowed to vote.
He further said anybody whose PVC had been cloned, under-aged and those in possession of another person’s voter card would be excluded from participating in the voting.
Olurode, who said though INEC had put in place technologies to eliminate electoral fraud, assured that the commission would continue to evolve measures that would enhance the 2015 general elections.
While speaking against the backdrop of low PVC distribution and collection in Ogun State, the national commissioner said the development was not intended to disenfranchise the people of the state.
He identified transfer, multiple registration and death as factors that could have led to the high number of uncollected PVCs in the state.
According to the INEC chief, ‎1,642,607 PVCs had been received from the INEC headquarters in Abuja out of the 1,795,794 registered voters in the state while 1,053,377 cards had been distributed so far.
Olurode, however, noted that ‎not all the remaining 153,185 PVCs being expected in the state may be ready for elections, saying it was impossible for the commission to have hundred per cent distribution of voter cards.
He said: “The truth is that it may not be possible for the remaining cards to come before elections; the number though is small. We have gone out of the conventional to ensure that the cards are distributed to the owners. We recognised our challenges in this regard.
“There was never a deliberate attempt to punish the people of Ogun State or to inflict any suffering on anybody. The state was not singled out for this.
“We are not happy ourselves that people who registered and have their Temporary Voter Cards in 2011 were yet to have their PVCs. As election body, we are not happy as well. We are marketing electoral processes and if you don’t market, you don’t make money. The only way they can expend their resources on the election day is to have their PVC, that is their political fund.”
To ensure stress-free voting, Olurode disclosed that INEC had provided three set of ballot boxes‎ which would be differentiated by colours for the presidential and national assembly elections.
He said: “The first set of election will be done in three stages. Ballot box for presidential election will be in red colour with red ballot papers, while that of the Senate and House of Representatives will be in black and blue respectively.
“This is to make sorting easier for INEC officials and easy identification for voters, especially the illiterate.”

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