Nigeria’s electoral umpire – the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) – is already working on a project to allow the electorate to cast their votes online and decongest crowds at polling stations across the country.
Mr Festus Okoye, INEC National Commissioner and Chairman of Information and Voter Education Committee, disclosed this on Thursday.
He, however, did not give a specific timeframe as to when online voting would be implemented when he made the disclosure on Channels Television’s breakfast programme.
“Going forward, this commission is determined to improve on its use of technology in the electoral process … we have gone very far in terms of our resolve to introduce electronic voting machines in the electoral process,” the INEC official said.
He added, “People voting online or using the internet to vote is a project that the commission is working on and at the appropriate time, the commission will unveil what it is doing.
“But the immediate task we have now, our immediate responsibility is to introduce the use of electronic voting machines in the electoral process and we are confident that in the next few months, the National Assembly and the Presidency will finish work on the legal framework.”
Okoye stated that the electoral umpire has to a large extent tapped into the use of technology in the electoral process.
According to him, one of the other things INEC intends to do relating to the continuous voters’ registration is to create an online portal where eligible persons who do not suffer any legal liability or disability can register online to decongest the registration centres.
The INEC national commissioner decried the recent attacks on the commission’s offices in parts of the country, especially in the southern region.
He noted that the electoral umpire has been taken proactive steps to prevent a reoccurrence of such ugly incidents.
In terms of security, Okoye disclosed that INEC has met with the Inter-Agency Consultative Committee on Election Security for advice and information in order to protect its assets more professionally and appropriately.
“We have also liaise with them and called for more and better coordination among the security agencies in terms of sharing information and in terms of making information available to the commission anytime they are in possession of any information that will be critical in terms of protecting our infrastructure and other assets.