INEC is concluding plans to make us of Electronic Voting Machines (EVM) for future elections in the country.
This INEC says is in line with the demands by Nigerians to deepen the use of technology to conduct elections.
The INEC chairman was quoted to have said that “there is no gainsaying the importance of electronic application of technology, particularly in voting process. It not only increases the confidence of the electorate in the outcome, but also in many ways facilitates the work of the commission”.
The commission recognises the critical role that ICT will play in an electoral process.
INEC said it would “pilot the use of EVM’s at the earliest possible time, with thoughts of full introduction in the major elections in 2021.
In the same vein, INEC plans to:
* Continue to apply relevant, value-for-money technology in all aspects of electoral process and election.
* Regularly validate and clean up biometric registers of voters by removing multiple registrants and deceased persons.
*Regularly make available it’s electronic channels for voters to check their registration status.
There are however widespread skepticism over these proposed plans in view of the magnitude of failure of the EVM’s during the 2019 elections.
It is on indelible records that returning officers for different states reported the failure of card readers which caused elections to be cancelled in hundreds of polling units across the nation.
INEC presently has many internal and external issues to attend to before Nigeria’s elections can get a decent turnout and results.
One other major issue is the INEC server; can INEC beat its chest to say they have overcome the complains laid at the feet of telecoms operators?
Can we get an affirmation that an organization that was unable to carry out verification processes is now ready for the all important voting process?
Moreso, has INEC been able to seek the necessary constitutional backings for the EVM’s?
All these questions and more need urgent answers as we look forward to INEC’s plan to start electronic voting I 2021.