2023: INEC links planned new polling units to COVID-19, others

Prof. Mahmood Yakubu

The Independent National Electoral Commission has said the emergence of the COVID-19 pandemic, increased voter population and difficult terrain, among others, have made creation of additional polling units inevitable.

INEC also said the expansion of voter access to polling units through the creation of additional polling units was crucial to voter turnout in the 2023 elections.

Chairman of INEC, Prof. Mahmood Yakubu, said these in his opening remarks on Friday during a consultative meeting with political parties in Abuja.

According to him, it is necessary to decongest polling units in view of the pandemic to minimise overcrowding.

Yakubu said many countries expand access to polling units with every fresh registration of voters, while others do so routinely or before every general election.

He, however, lamented that the current 120,000 polling units cannot serve the increasing voting population, adding that decongesting polling units would reduce the long distances voters travel, often in overcrowded means of transport, in order to vote during elections.

The INEC chairman said, “The commission is of the firm belief that expanding voter access to polling units in Nigeria is crucial to voter turnout in elections. Experience has shown that enhanced voter access to polling units increases turnout in elections.

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