Electronic voting pilot in Nigeria, a laudable modernization attempt
There were allegations of multiple voting and other challenges in previous Nigeria Elections. An Electronic Voting Machine was deployed in relevant province which was a computerised box with simple Cancel and OK buttons that could be used even by the illiterate and the elderly. Voters can select the logo of the party you want to vote for, and simply tap either OK or Cancel – a simple Yes or No choice. The Cancel button in fact allows you to change your mind. Each EVM was powered by a battery that could last up to 16 hours. Governments worked in collaboration with local telecommunication companies to provide the network for the immediate transmission of results. Voting took less than a minute.
With electronic voting, it may be difficult to manipulate results, stuff ballot boxes or thump-print multiple ballot papers. The big gap between inputs and outcomes in the electoral processes in Africa has alienated the people from the system and from democracy itself. Why go out to vote when there are no guarantees that your vote will count or translate into improvements in your circumstance? Why vote for people who will get into positions of privilege on the wings of your efforts and end up forgetting you? The biggest threat to democracy in Africa is this trust deficit and the disconnect between the people and the actual value of elections. The above mentioned threats have just attached great importance to the value of credibility, integrity, transparency and accountability in the electoral process. This is the objective of those who support the idea of electronic voting and the electronic transmission of results.
The application of election-tech may evolve into a nationwide pattern, and it is one of the ills that must change in order to properly deepen participatory democracy, not just in Nigeria, but across Africa from Integelec’s perspective. And we should also admit that, there must be much more sophisticated issues need to be further discussed when the EMB want to implement a national-wide E-election, for example the results transmission solutions for power-shortage areas, audit trails designed for the integrity of election. Here is Integelec’s latest E-voting solution for a better electronic election preparations: https://www.integelection.com/solutions/virtual-voting/
Post time: 03-12-21