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INEC commences plans for Electronic voting, meets manufacturers

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The Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), kick started the process of migrating the nation to electronic voting from the current manual system.

The commission, according to its Chairman, Professor Mahmood Yakubu, has already invited manufacturers of electronic voting machines around the world to practically demonstrate how the machines work, preparatory to the full migration.

Yakubu disclosed this on Monday during the demonstration of electronic voting machines.

He said: “Over the years, the commission has been automating the critical pillars of the process. The biometric register of voters has been updated continuously. At the moment, the INEC register of voters is the largest database of citizens in Nigeria.

“In addition, the combination of biometric voter cards commonly known as the Permanent Voter Card and the Smart Card Reader have revolutionised the accreditation of voters during elections.

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“More recently, the introduction of a number of portals has facilitated the seamless nomination of candidates for elective offices by political parties as well as the accreditation of observers and the media.

“Most significantly, the commission now uploads polling unit level results in real-time on Election Day to a portal for public view. These are significant innovations that have deepened the transparency and credibility of elections and the electoral process in Nigeria.

“The commission developed the specifications of the functions required of the machine. After extensive discussion and review, the commission took the decision to invite original manufacturers of electronic voting machines around the world for a virtual or practical demonstration of the machines.”

According to Yakubu, over 40 companies, which indicated interest, would demonstrate to the commission how their IT solutions meet its specifications.

“The commission is aware that Nigerians want us to deepen the use of technology in elections. Let me reassure Nigerians that the commission is committed to expediting the process leading to the deployment of the EVMs in elections in earnest,” the INEC chairman said.

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