By Nathaniel Gana
Thursday 7th October 2021
The Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) has presented the Register of Voters for the Anambra Governorship Election scheduled for 6th November 2021 to leaders of the 18 Political Parties contesting the election. The ceremony took place today at the Commission’s State Office in Awka, in line with the Timetable and Schedule of Activities issued in January this year.
The Register, which is in electronic format, contains details of existing voters and the new registrants derived from the recently suspended Continuous Voter Registration (CVR) exercise. The consolidated figure now stands at 2,525,471 voters.
Speaking at the event, the Resident Electoral Commissioner (REC) for Anambra State, Dr. Nkwachukwu Orji, noted that the state has continually witnessed a significant increase in registered voters after every CVR exercise.
He said: “The Register of Voters in Anambra state has progressed significantly. In 2013, we had 1,784,536 registered voters. In 2015, we moved to 1,963,173 registered voters – an increase of 178,637 voters. Then, we also progressed from that in 2017 to 2,158,171 registered voters. Then, in 2019, we had 2,437,996, and that was the highest increase we had recorded since 2013.
Dr. Orji explained that the electronic format in which the new Register of Voters was presented to the political parties, was in accordance with the Commission’s drive towards digitizing its processes. He identified its three significant benefits to the electoral process.
His words: “This presentation of the Register of Voters is significantly beneficial in three ways. The first is in terms of mobilization. Once the parties know the different locations of the voting strength, they can make their analysis, which can help in their mobilization.
“Secondly, in terms of voter education and public enlightenment, knowing the character of the Register will draw you to areas where you can make voter education interventions. Finally, especially for security agencies and for political parties, the Register allows you to make evidence-based planning”.
The REC further explained that the expansion of voter access to polling units, embarked upon by INEC earlier in the year in response to legitimate hue and cry from stakeholders over the overcrowding of existing polling units, led to a substantial increase of 1,112 polling units in Anambra state. Thus, according to him, the number of polling units moved from 4,608 to 5,720.
He said the next step, after fulfilling the legal requirement of presenting the electronic copies of the Register of Voters to political parties, would be for the Commission to print the manual copies of the Register for use during the election. Thereafter, the Commission would print the Permanent Voters’ Cards (PVCs) for collection by the new registrants ahead of the 6th November polls.
Anambra State has 21 Local Government Areas and 326 Registration Areas (RAs).