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2019 elections may be last ‘mainly manual’ election in Nigeria —INEC

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The Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) has declared that the 2019 general elections may just be the last “mainly manual” election staged in Nigeria.

This was revealed on Thursday by the Chairman of INEC Prof. Mahmood Yakubu who said the proposed amendment to the 2010 Electoral Act involved deepening the deployment of technology in future elections paving the way for electronic voting in the future.

Following the revelation by INEC boss who spoke in Lagos during the opening of a two-day retreat with the National Assembly Committees on Electoral Matters, proponents of electronic voting for future elections had cause to heave a sigh of relief.

Prof. Yakubu said that the deployment of electronic voting is achievable with the support of the National Assembly.

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He said; “It is time for a new legislation to remove all encumbrances to further deployment of technology in the electoral process, especially in the accreditation of voters and transmission of election results.

“Sections 49 and 67 of the draft bill deal with these twin issues…These sections will be thoroughly discussed at this retreat. Working with the National Assembly, it is our hope that the 2019 general elections will be the last mainly manual election in Nigeria,” he said.

The INEC chairman said the expeditious passage of the Electoral Act amendment is critical to the preparations for the next general elections.

“There is need to expedite the process, particularly because the bill under consideration at this retreat is the one emanating from the Senate. The House of Representatives is working on its own bill. Given the urgency of the situation, the two chambers of the National Assembly may wish to consider adopting the current bill and to organise a joint public hearing for the passage of the amendments into law in earnest,” he added.

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