INEC reveals plan against underage voting

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The Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) says it now demands international passport or driver’s licence in a situation where the age of the voter is in doubt as against birth certificate stipulated by the law.

The commission said it was part of measure being put in place to ensure that underage persons were not allowed to register.

Head of Department, Voter Education and Publicity, FCT, Ms. Ndidi Okafor, disclosed this yesterday in Abuja at a programme organised by the Progressive Impact Organisation for Community Development (PRIMORG).

She revealed that the first quarter of INEC registration exercise which started in January 8, 2018, will end this week.

Okafor stated: “The law says you should come with birth certificate. Now, what the commission is doing is trying to ensure that in the FCT and across the country, we don’t have underage people coming to register.

“That is why sometimes when the officers are not too sure that you are qualified, they would demand international passport or driver licence.

“But for those who have just turned 18, they will have to come with their birth certificate or their baptismal card just for us to make sure that we are complying with the laws.”

On what INEC was doing to make voters’ registration less stressful in the FCT, she said: “When this exercise started nationwide on April 27, 2017, we started with just six centres, by then, there were demands for more centres.

“The commission then yielded to the demands of the people and gave 16 additional centres; we had 22 and then an additional 10.

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“We have 32 centres, but we are not where we used to be, however, what the commission has done is to do what we call rotation within the wards so that we can get to difficult terrains and the rural areas so that we can have them registered.”

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