INEC To Create Additional 4,861 Polling Units In Lagos
The Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) in Lagos State has stated that it will create 4,861 additional polling units in the state.
Just as it has cancelled the used of royal palaces and worship centres as polling stations in the state.
The state Resident Electoral Commissioner (REC), Mr. Sam Olumekun, who disclosed this, said the newly approved polling units is to provide unhindered access for the citizens to exercise their fundamental rights to vote.
According to him,
Polling units are central to the electoral process and democracy at large. Voter access to polling units is at the very heart of representative democracy because it is where citizens exercise their fundamental rights to vote and make electoral choices freely. Consequently, polling units largely shape citizens confidence in the electoral process and similarly determine the level of their participation or apathy as well as security and safety during elections.
Olumekun further said:
Voter access to polling units goes beyond the number of polling units that are available to voters, as it also entails sitting polling units in places that are conducive to voting on election day, according to the regulations and guidelines of the commission. The idea is equally to engender an environment that would provide a good voter experience in each polling unit.
However, the location of the polling units for the conduct of the election will be restricted to public places preferable to those that are centrally located and accessible. Non-sectarian locations such as schools, town/community halls, health centres, court premises and public recreational centres will also be used. The commission has further noted that polling units should not be sited in private compounds, royal palaces, residences of government officials, political party building, places designated for religious worship or any building to which a voter may under any circumstances be denied access, except as prescribed by law or regulation.
Consequently, the commission has approved 4,861 additional polling units to increase the number of polling units in Lagos State to 13,325 with registered voters at 6,570,291 across 245 registration areas across 20 local government areas in the state.
The commission has also approved the modalities for continuous voter registration (CVR) exercise nationwide. The exercise which will commence on June 28, 2021, will entail voter registration for those that have newly attained the age of 18 and above and the persons that have not been previously registered.
Speaking at the meeting, the state Chairman of the All Progressives Congress (APC), Mr. Tunde Balogun, commended INEC for the creation of additional polling units, noting that it will enhance voter participation and also create unhindered access to the electorate on election day.
In his goodwill message, the state Chairman of Inter-Party Advisory Council (IPAC), Adesina James, appreciates INEC for extending the invitation to stakeholders on the need to expand voter access to polling units.
Representative of the National Orientation Agency (NOA), Waheed Ishola, said INEC is on the right course for increasing the number of polling units in the state.