One of the card readers used by the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) in the ongoing Ondo state governorship election has failed to capture the biometrics of Olusegun Mimiko, governor of the state.
The incident happened at Ward 7, Unit 21, Ondo West local government area, where the governor cast his ballot.
Mikiko eventually had to fill an incident form before he could cast his ballot.
Addressing reporters after voting, he said he would not be able to give a full assessment of the exercise until he had been fully briefed.
“I just observed that there was something wrong with the card reader here. It couldn’t recognise my thumb impression so they had to use incident form,” he said.
“I have just voted now, and I want to go and sit somewhere to receive calls and briefings from other polling station before I would be able to comment.
“Sincerely it is difficult to make any definite comment at this time. All I can say is that I have voted, and let’s see how it goes. I will wait to receive briefings from our agents and people in different communities before I can make any definite assessment of the election.”
Responding to a question on whether he has received reports on violence in the exercise, Mimiko said: “I have not been informed of any incident of such. Like I said, I have just come here to vote, and I can now sit down and receive reports.
“I have seen security personnel around, that is all I can say for now. But I will await the reports I receive to know whether or not they have lived up to their billing.”
There have been several complaints of malfunctioning card readers in polling units.
At the two polling units adjacent where Mimiko voted, none of the devices functioned in the first hour of the exercise.
But INEC has assured voters that it has more than 250 spare smart card readers to replace those malfunctioning.
Speaking with reporters at unit 9, ward 2, Gbogi/Isinkan in Akure South local government area of the state, Olusegun Agbaje, resident electoral commissioner (REC) in Ondo, said the commission is prepared to tackle the hitches.
“I have called the head of department of ICT to get smart cards for areas with smart card challenges and very soon they will get them,” he said.
“Card reader is not a major challenge because it can be addressed within 10 to 20 minutes; we have over 250 smart card readers for exchange in case of malfunction.
“I believe more people are still coming and the election is going on smoothly across the state.”