• Friday, April 19, 2024
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BusinessDay

INEC finally reveals why IReV failed in 2023 presidential poll

Off-season polls: INEC warns stakeholders against fake reports

The Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) has revealed that the results of the 2023 presidential election could not be uploaded because the server returned “HTTP error” due to a configuration bug that was discovered after the presiding officers at the polling units could only upload the results of the National Assembly elections.

The commission stated this in a comprehensive post-mortem on the 2023 general election which was released just about a year after the presidential election was conducted and made available to BusinessDay.

The report documented the failure of the result viewing portal (IReV) during the presidential poll among others.

The commission stated that it moved swiftly to fix the problem by creating and deploying hotfixes and the hotfixes resolved the “HHTTP error” on the system leading to the uploading of the first presidential result at 8:55 pm on election day.

“Consequently, while the uploads for the NASS elections succeeded as the application was able to identify the respective state and build the folder hierarchy for the results organization process for the election, attempts to upload the presidential election results sheets, which does not belong to or mapped to any state on the database, failed. Instead, it returned a HTTP server error response”, the report said.

The report stated that after the problem with the upload was resolved, the commission noticed a high volume of uploads on the queue and all results that were scanned but could not be uploaded due to the error were queued waiting to be automatically processed.

INEC further narrated how the problem was first reported at 4 pm on election day and how it was partially resolved in four hours and added that the large poll of results waiting to be uploaded across the country slowed down the process.

The commission admitted that it was a key challenge that impacted on the public perception of the election and elicited widespread commentary across the country.

“To begin with, it is important to note that the IReV portal is one of the most significant innovations introduced by the Commission prior to the 2023 General Election to promote the integrity and transparency of the electoral process.

“As a public-facing website, the IReV portal shows the images of the original Polling Unit result sheets as recorded in Form EC8A.

“Another was that the of line queue requires the BVAS devices to be switched on and connected to the internet for the upload.

“However, some of the POs had at the time left their PUs, and the devices had either been switched off or were out of internet coverage. Switched-of devices could not connect and upload the results sheets.

“The commission had to reach out to the POs of affected areas to switch on their systems and ensure internet connectivity for the uploads to continue. This accounted for the delay, with some of the results coming in the next day”.