The Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) yesterday acknowledged the creation of additional 6,693 new polling units in Lagos and Ogun states for the 2023 general election.
While it created additional 4,861pollingunitsinLagosState, itapprovedadditional1,832polling units in Ogun State.
The Resident Electoral Commissioner in Lagos State, Sam Olumekun, said the additional polling units in the state would increase polling units in the state from 8,464 to 13,325.
Speaking at a stakeholders meeting in Lagos, Olumekun said the new polling units would also address the declining voter turnout during elections in the state. He said the exercise would decongest existing polling units by reducing the number of voters per polling units.
According to Olumekun, the exercise would expand voter access to polling units by converting existing voting points and voting settlements into full polling units and where necessary relocate new existing ones to places where they are closer and accessible to voters.
“It is our belief that the expansion of voter access to polling units would aid in consolidating our democracy and enhance transparency and credibility in the electoral process.
The exercise will further enhance the opportunity of fair representation for new settlements that were not in existence in 1996. “We expect that the expansion of voters’ access to polling units should resolve the age-long problem of polling units’ crises on election day.
May I therefore assure all that the exercise will be driven by data and statistics. Indeed, each polling unit will have an upper threshold of 750 and a lower threshold of 500 voters. This would also lay the foundation for creating polling units in the future,” he said.
Meanwhile, the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) yesterday said the additional 1,832 units in Ogun State, would bring the total number of polling units in the state from 3,210 to 5,042.
Ogun State Resident Electoral Commissioner, Prof. Abdulganiy Raji, disclosed this to journalists yesterday in Abeokuta, at a stakeholders’ meeting on expansion of voter access to polling units and commencement of continuous voter registration exercise. Raji said the creation of additional polling units in the state became necessary because of ‘declining voter access to voting centres in the state.’
He described the exercise as ‘long overdue,’ explaining that the difficulty in accessing location of polling units, distance, inadequacy, and emergence of new settlements and estates forced the commission to create new polling units.
According to him, all these had contributed to low voter turnout at elections, violation of election regulations and guidelines, violence and insecurity. He said repeated at tempts to expand voter access to polling units were stalled by “politicisation and conspiracy theories about the commission’s intentions.”
Raji said: “The commission at its meeting held on Tuesday, 20th April, deliberated on the subject and approved the lower and upper thresholds for voting points to 500 and 750 voters respectively.”