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Constitution Review: Nigerians Advocate For Use Of Technology In Electoral Process To Curb Voting By Proxy

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As the constitutional review takes the centre stage of debate in the country, Nigerians have advocated that the use of technology in the electoral process through electronic accreditation of voters be legitimized.

This is just has many concern Nigerians have said that the section 49 (2) of the Electoral Act 2010 should be amended to empower the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) to adopt technology in the accreditation of voters to verify and authenticate a voter.

In a document obtained by Money Central, which was published by a group called Nigerian Citizens titled: ‘Citizens’ Top 10 Priorities On Electoral Act Amendment’, states that the adoption of technology in the accreditation process will limit multiple voting and voting by proxy.

According to the document, section 52 (2) of the Electoral Act 2010 should also be amended to adopt electronic voting in the conduct of the election by replacing subsection (2) with, ‘ The Commission may adopt electronic voting or any other method of voting in any election it conducts.

However, it also states that the introduction of e-voting will enhance the integrity of elections and citizens’ participation, while also calling for the electronic collation and transmission of results by amending the section 65 of the Electoral Act, 2010 to legitimize electronic collation and transmission of election results from the polling units by INEC, which according to the document will promote transparency and increase citizens’ trust in the electoral process.

” Section 124 of the Electoral Act, 2010 should be amended to impose stiffer sanctions for bribery and vote-buying. Anyone convicted for this offence shall be liable on conviction to a maximum fine of N1,000,000 and 12 months imprisonment.

” Section 125 (4) of the Electoral Act, 2010 should be amended to read: ‘Any person acting contrary to the provisions of this section commits an offence and is liable on conviction to a maximum fine of N500,000.00 or to imprisonment for a term of 12 months or both,” the document states.

Though, the document advocates that section 100 (6) of the Electoral Act, 2010 be retained to ensure penalty for violating the provisions of the section are restricted to the offending entity ( the media house ), while stating that it should not be extended to journalists, broadcasters, and other workers of the media house.

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