Used in Voting, the INEC card reader is a portable Electronic voting authentication device configured to read only the Permanent Voter Cards (PVCs) issued by the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC).The card reader was designed specifically for the accreditation process, authentication of eligible voters before voting.The machine was configured to read only the PVCs of a particular polling unit and can only work on election day.

The device uses a cryptographic technology with an ultra-low power consumption and processing frequency of 1.2 GHz and uses Android 4.0.0.

It is positioned by its operators (usually some bunch of trained INEC officials) to read the embedded chip on the Personal Voter Card (PVC). This card is placed into the device, which then displays the voter’s details. The voter places their thumb on the device, and their identity is confirmed through Fingerprint authentication.It usually takes about 10 to 20 seconds to validate a voter.

On completion of accreditation process, a “Close V” key is used to complete the accreditation process and the total number of voters accredited can be previewed using a “Query” key. Afterwards, the result may be forwarded to INEC using the “Communication” key.

The card reader was first used for Nigeria’s presidential election held on March 28, 2015.
Significantly, the machines failed to recognise Permanent Voter Cards (PVCs) in some states

INEC Smart card reader

The machine helps detect cloned or fake PVCs. In 2015 especially the machine was able to detect fake cards.

Citing alot of issues with the card readers, the Electoral body made a bold step for the machine to be upgraded and also increase its functionalities.The upgraded smart card reader is faster, more robust and has new features that enable it to store additional data and transmit results.

Jigawa had so be confirmed the only State in the current 2019 election with card readers issues.

We hope in future, the card readers should be able to do more than it does now that might discourage thugs from invading polling units to steal ballot boxes.

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