Former INEC commissioner seeks zero-tolerance for invalid votes

A former INEC Commissioner, Professor Lai Olorode, has called for zero tolerance for void votes in the November 26 governorship election in Ondo State.

Olorode told the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) in Lagos, on Thursday, that the electorates’ confidence would be restored in the system, once zero-tolerance for void votes was achieved.

“In the last record that I have, Ondo State recorded just about 2.5 per cent wasted votes and I think they should try this time around, during the gubernatorial election, to go to zero-tolerance for wasted votes.

“That is the only way you will be restoring confidence because there is no point queuing up to do accreditation and voting and at the end of the day, your votes will not count.

“Void votes generally are a reflection of high level of illiteracy and the failure of political parties to reach out to their members and to give them some voter educational information.’’

Olorode, therefore, called on political stakeholders in the state to work closely with INEC to adequately educate voters on how to correctly cast votes.

“The point really is that INEC alone cannot undertake voter education.

“In order to avoid or to minimise wasted votes, INEC needs partnership with civil society organisations, international development agencies, community leaders, political parties and the media,” Professor Olorode said.