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E-voting: INEC set to send proposals for Electoral Act amendment to NASS

…reassures on hitch-free Edo, Ondo guber polls

The Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) has said it was working assiduously to fulfil its earlier promise to Nigerians that all elections from next year would be conducted and transmitted electronically.

The commission said it is set to send proposals to that effect to the National Assembly.

In an interview with BusinessDay on Tuesday, Festus Okoye, INEC’s national commissioner for information and voters education, said the full compendium of the Commission’s proposals on the constitutional amendment would be presented to the National Assembly in the next few days.

Recall that Mahmood Yakubu, INEC chairman, had said recently that electronic voting would be adopted in future elections beginning with the 2021 Anambra State governorship election.

He said the measure was to check electoral fraud and give credibility to the electoral system in the country.

“The commission is committed to introducing at least electronic balloting in the major election we are going to conduct next year, which happens to be the Anambra governorship election,” Yakubu had said.

Agitations for the commission to adopt electronic voting in all elections had intensified, due to complaints of irregularities that marred the 2019 general elections.

However, stakeholders have expressed reservations on the readiness of the commission to adopt this process; they based their fears majorly on the non-amendment of 2010 electoral Act by the national Assembly.

But speaking on Tuesday, Okoye said, “The full compendium of the Commission’s proposals relating to constitutional alteration and Electoral Act Amendment will get to the National Assembly in the next few days and more importantly before the public hearing,” Okoye said.

The INEC Commissioner said after a recent retreat with federal lawmakers the commission has proposed further alterations to the constitution and amendments to the Electoral Act to take care of electronic transmission of results.

Okoye said the commission was proactive about and determined to use technology in the electoral process from next year.

“The Commission has been proactive and has gone very far in its determination to deepen the use of technology in the electoral process from next year,” he said.

Speaking further, he assured that the commission would work with different relevant agencies of government to conduct a hitch-free election in Edo and Ondo State in view of the prevailing covid-19 pandemic in the country.

“We are on top of the situation and we have a joint technical committee with the National Center for Disease Control looking at health-related issues.  The Resident Electoral Commissioners are engaging the stakeholders on different issues relating to the election,” he added.

 

 

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