In preparation for the upcoming elections, the Independent National Electoral Commission has begun testing the recently purchased Bimodal Voters Accreditation System in Plateau State.
Egwurube Otokpa, the state’s INEC director of voter education and outreach, disclosed this in an interview with The PUNCH in Jos on Thursday.
According to news reports, the BVAS recently arrived in the state and would be used to conduct the election in over 300 polling locations throughout the state’s 17 LGAs.
According to Otokpa, the test run of the BVAS in Plateau State, which started on Wednesday at INEC headquarters in Jos, was being conducted by a team of officials from INEC headquarters in Abuja led by Dr Jane Ifedeora.
He said, “We have started test-running the BVAS that will be used in Plateau State during the 2023 election, and all the machines are running smoothly. The exercise started yesterday (Wednesday), and so far, so good.
“The team was led by Dr Jane Ifedeora from the ICT Department at INEC Headquarters in Abuja. The team anchored the demonstration session in the presence of the state’s Resident Electoral Commissioner, Dr Oliver Tersoo Agundu, to see the test and configuration aspects with 15 other staff members of the State ICT Department.
“As of the last count on Wednesday, when the test running exercise started, we have tested 800 BVAS. All of them were found to be in good condition and were working very well. And today (Thursday), we are continuing with the testing until all the BVAS sent to the state are tested.”
The INEC official, who did not disclose the number of BVAS being tested in the state, nevertheless assured voters in the state of the commitment of the electoral body to conduct a free and fair election.
He added, “Of course, if there is any problem discovered during the test trial, we will fix it, and that is why we are doing the test run. We also have extra BVAS that will take care of any challenge if the need arises. But when we are done with the testing, I will tell you the number of BVAS that we have for the election in Plateau State.”