The Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) says a total of 473,476 eligible voters may not participate in the 2019 general election if they failed to collect their Permanent Voters Card (PVC).
Emmanuel Alex Hart, Edo State, Resident Electoral Commissioner, gave the hint during interactive awareness and sensitisation meeting with political parties in Benin-City on Friday.
Hart said the integrative meeting was part of the commission’s resolve to have regular meeting with critical stakeholders towards achieving a more robust free, fair, credible and stable electoral culture in the country as the 2019 get closer.
He said out of the 1,992,856 million voters that registered in the state a total of 1,519,350million have collected PVCs while 473,467 are yet to collect theirs.
He said when he assumed office; there were over 700,000 uncollected PVCs in the state but that it has reduced to 473,467 at the moment.
“The total numbers of registered voters in the state stood at 1,992,856 while 1,519,350 PVCs have been collected in the state”, he said.
He said the collection of PVC has greatly improved due to the sustained sensitisation by the commission in the state.
He also said that the commission had taken the campaign against vote buying to the Markets, Churches and Mosque so as to be able to reach out to a large audience, especially at the grassroots.
“We are sending people to the Mosques, Markets and Churches because not everyone has television and radio at home and those who have may not get electricity or battery to watch and listen to radio. So, we send our staff to those areas to sensitise the people against vote-buying and other electoral practices,” he added.
Hart explained that the commission is working in synergy with the security agents to see how to curb vote buying in the state during the 2019 general election.
“We are working with security agents because INEC that is supervising election cannot go about looking for vote buyers, but the security agent can address such situation while also providing security,” he stated.
He urged candidates and parties to limit their campaign expenses within the threshold of the enabling law.
He posited that the commission has plan to enforce the guidelines through effective monitoring of campaign expenditures, and that the commission would help parties train their officials to maintain records of their day to day campaign finances and expenditures.
The State Resident Electoral Commissioner further explained that the commission would also provide parties with relevant prescribed forms for the campaigns expenditures.
He further disclosed that the commission will display the national register of voters at polling unit by November 6, to afford the people the opportunity to make claims for inclusion names, objection to deceased, underage, multiple and those of foreign nationals.
The REC, however, appealed to stakeholders to cooperate with its field officers and help to create the needed awareness on the need for people to validate the register for the 2018.