By G9ija

The Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), has outlined ways by which the electorate can locate their polling units ahead of the forthcoming general elections on 25th of February, 2023.

Mahmood Yakubu, the Chairman of INEC, conveyed this information to Nigerians in a statement released on Friday in Abuja.

According to Mr. Yakubu, voters who want to confirm their polling units for the election can now do so by sending an SMS to any of the dedicated lines provided by the commission.

He stated that the SMS should contain their voting state, last name and the last six digits of their Voter Identification Number (VIN) to these lines, 09062830860, 09062830861. As an example, a message could be sent as follows: “FCT Magaji 445322”.

Mr. Yakubu further noted that INEC has adopted various technological innovations aimed at improving the credibility and transparency of the voting process in the upcoming 2023 general election.

In addition to facilitating the confirmation of polling units through SMS, Mr. Yakubu mentioned that INEC has taken steps to improve voters’ access to polling units. This has been achieved by creating 56,872 new polling units across the country, with the aim of providing Nigerians with a more convenient experience on election day.

“As I have said repeatedly, the right to vote can only be exercised where there is a place to vote.

“Arising from the recent mock accreditation exercise nationwide using the Bimodal Voter Accreditation System (BVAS), some voters turned up at the wrong polling units.

“This happened both in cases where voters have been migrated to other polling units by the commission and even where they voluntarily chose new voting locations during the last Continuous Voter Registration (CVR).

To further simplify the process, Mr. Yakubu stated that INEC has also commenced the process of sending bulk SMS messages to voters who are assigned to new polling units.

Additionally, the commission has distributed the register of voters for each state to the Resident Electoral Commissioners (REC) for publicity purposes. These registers will be made available in local languages to better inform and educate voters on the changes in polling units.

Mr. Yakubu emphasized that registered voters can also make inquiries about their polling unit status through INEC’s public outreach platforms, as described in the attached procedure.

“Furthermore, the commission is offering two unique ways by which all voters can locate and confirm their polling units before election day.

“This can be done by sending a normal text message or by simply visiting our website.

“The detailed procedure is attached to this message and also uploaded to our website and social media platforms,” he said.

He encouraged all eligible voters to take advantage of these services and to confirm their voting locations well in advance of election day. By doing so, voters can avoid the confusion and delays that may arise from not knowing their designated polling units.

“In doing so, you would be contributing to our avowed commitment to deliver credible, inclusive, transparent elections,” he added.