The Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) has vehemently denied allegations that it tampered with voter accreditation figures for the Kogi Governorship Election results uploaded on the INEC Result Viewing (IReV) portal.
In a swift and decisive response, INEC in a statement by a National Commissioner and Member of the Information and Voter Education Committee, Mohammed Haruna, categorically stated that the claims are unfounded. It said the most accurate and up-to-date voter accreditation data is maintained on the Bimodal Voter Accreditation System (BVAS), which is the device used to authenticate and accredit registered voters at polling units on election day. The BVAS automatically records the accreditation data of all voters, ensuring the integrity of the voter registration process.
INEC explained that the BVAS is designed to primarily work offline without internet connectivity to provide a faster and smoother authentication and accreditation experience for voters. However, when the BVAS application is active or in use, and depending on the strength of its internet connection, it automatically exports the accreditation data to the Accreditation Backend System (ABS).
This data exportation does not occur when the device’s application is inactive or when the internet connectivity is poor. The same applies when more than one BVAS device is used at a polling unit with more than 1,250 registered voters. This can be compared to a situation where poor network services delay the delivery of an SMS sent from one individual to another through a mobile phone.
At the close of polls, Presiding Officers are instructed to press the data exportation button on the BVAS to ensure that all accreditation data is exported to the ABS. This process, known as synchronization, is ongoing and may result in changes in the accreditation figures as more data is received to update the existing figures. This is the reason for the caveat provided on the IReV portal regarding the accreditation figures. The accreditation data cannot be changed on the BVAS after the close of polls.
INEC urged the public to disregard the misleading reports and misinformation circulating regarding the voter accreditation data and reiterated its commitment to upholding the integrity of the electoral process.