From Judex Okoro, Calabar
The Resident Electoral Commissioner of the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) in Cross River State, Dr Emmanuel Alex Hart, had disclosed that the Commission has concluded plans to implement the expansion of state polling units.
Dr Hart, who made the disclosure in Calabar at the opening of the workshop on implementation of expansion of voter access to polling units, organised for Electoral Officers (EOS), Assistant Electoral Officers (AEOs) and Registration Area/Enumeration Area Demarcation Officers (RA/EADs), said that the project was part of the commitment to the people to ensure credible and transparent elections.
‘I am optimistic that the successful execution of this assignment by the participants will bring to an end the challenges of overcrowding, social distancing, long queues, violence, limited amount of space for INEC personnel to work at polling units during elections and long distance treks by voters to exercise their franchise currently experienced at electoral processes,’ the electoral commissioner said.
The REC further stated that the training is to equip staff with strategies to implement the Voter Access to Polling Units (VAPU) programme.
According to him, the expansion of polling units programme, by converting existing voting points in the country to full-fledged polling units, will enhance greater voter participation, reducing voter apathy in the electoral process.
The REC commended Commission staff and stakeholders for their overwhelming support of the policy, which is expected to solve the problem of overcrowding of polling units and lack of access to voting, which has lingered for years.
Also speaking at the event, the Head of Operations, Mr Fred Emezu, and a trainer from INEC headquarters, Elizabeth Atte, explained to the participants the objectives and use of UTM Geo Mapping for capturing of new polling units, and procedure for location and relocation of existing polling units.