VOTERS without face masks will not be allowed to vote in the forthcoming governorship elections in Edo and Ondo states, as the Independent National Electoral Commission – INEC, reiterated its resolve to pioneer electronic voting in Nigeria by 2021.

INEC, on Monday said in a 17-page document tagged, “Policy on Conducting Elections in the Context of the Covid-19 Pandemic,” that it would suspend the Continuous Voter Registration CVR due to the Covid-19 pandemic.

The commission also said that, “In order to accommodate additional activities in setting up the PU due to COVID-19, polls shall now commence at 8.30 am and close at 2.30 pm. Anybody on the outer queue by 2.30 pm shall be allowed to vote, in line with the Commission’s regulations.’’

“Prior to the commencement of polls, the Presiding Officer or Assistant Presiding Officer (VP) shall ensure that the contents of the Voter Code of Conduct (VCC) are read out loudly to voters and that the VCC Poster is pasted at the Polling Unit.

“Face masks shall be mandatory at Polling Units and all election locations. Any voter without a facemask shall be turned away from the Polling Unit. However, the Assistant Presiding Officer (APO) II in checking the Register of Voters may request removal of mask to prevent voter impersonation.

“There shall be periodic disinfection of chairs, tables and work areas, as well as adequate ventilation at the Polling Units. The SCR shall be cleaned with the prescribed disinfectant after each voter’s fingerprint is read.

“Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) and other safety materials shall be provided for polling staff. At the close of polls, polling unit staff shall ensure that materials are properly disinfected, carefully packaged and that used PPE are hygienically packaged or disposed of.

“Reduce the number of accredited Observer Groups based on past performance and compliance with the Commission’s guidelines for election observation. This is to reduce crowding and therefore health risks at election venues”.

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