The Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) has said it has plans to adopt the use of electronic voting in 2019 general elections.
The Chairman of the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), Professor Mahmood Yakubu, stated this while receiving executives of the forum of State Independent Electoral Commission (SIIECS) who paid him a courtesy visit at the commission’s headquarters in Abuja.
He said INEC will not continue to conduct elections manually in Nigeria but would introduce modern technology – especially electronic voting – in the electoral system as other countries do. Quoting him:
“We can no longer continue to conduct elections manually in Nigeria, we must introduce modern technology as being done in other countries, very soon the use of technology for the conduct of local elections in the country will be mandatory
“It will make the process transparent and very open as it should be, the use of smart card, otherwise known as card reader machine has come to stay, though it requires a lot of resources, we see we can do it because it adds value and more credibility to the electoral process in the country, some states have been using it in the conduct of their elections, we are seeing how we can make it to go round,”.
He also assured his visitors that INEC would continue to collaborate and cooperate with SEICs and other organisations to improve electroral management in the country.
The forum’s chairperson, Mrs. Gloria Ukpong, who also spoke, commended the commission, adding that the forum could learn from the commission. Hear her:
“We had great and beautiful memory under the former commission and we want the relationship to continue. We can learn many things from the commission under you and take them to our states.
“The introduction of Card Readers at the national level is a welcome development. Only Sokoto State had implemented it. It allows for more transparency.
“If we use the same voters’ register to conduct elections at the state levels, why can’t we come together for discussion on how we can also be using the Card Readers. It requires a lot of resources, which the states may not be able to bear the cost.”