Yiaga Africa has called for the rejection of any law that bars or prohibits Nigeria’s Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) from transmitting election results electronically from polling units.

Development Diaries reports that the civil society organisation (CSO) made the call in its report on Electronic Transmission of Result in Nigeria and Why it is Necessary.

The nonprofit urged the federal lawmakers in Nigeria to ensure that electronic transmission
of results is legalised in the country’s electoral framework for the benefit of all Nigerians.

Electronic transfer of results is a key proposal in the Electoral Act Amendment bill before the National Assembly.

The bill seeks to reduce the cost of elections, ensure the deployment of effective election technology and include stringent punishment for violators of electoral laws.

It also seeks to increase the political participation of women and youths, among others, which will be crucial in strengthening Nigeria’s democracy.

‘For the purpose of emphasis, the proposed section 50(2) in the Electoral Amendment bill should be reviewed to legalise electronic transmission of results from polling units’, Yiaga Africa noted.

It however admitted that errors, with regard to electronic transfer of election results, are possible, even with the most advanced technologies in place.

‘Nonetheless, experts assert that the introduction of technology in elections offers an extremely high level of security and confidence as they are considered to be far safer than manual systems which are often prone to flagrant rigging’, the report added.

Noting the benefits of electronic transmission of results, the CSO stated that the deployment of electronic transmission of results in Nigeria will ensure an additional system by INEC and citizens for effective oversight over the collation of result process.

It added, ‘The electronic transfer of results also grants the public access to polling unit results faster and inspires confidence in the process. This is because citizens can track the election results as INEC collates the results on election day and can verify the electoral outcomes. Citizens trust the outcome of elections when the results announced by INEC correlates with the polling units level results transmitted electronically’.

The organisation also called on citizens to remain vigilant and keep the pressure on their legislators in the Senate and House of Representatives until the country has an electoral act that reflects the wishes of the people.

Source: Yiaga Africa

Photo source: Bureau of Global Public Affairs

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