Few month ago, Nigerian National House of Assembly passed the Electoral Act Amendment Bill into Law, stepping down electronic transmission of election results and electronic voting system from the bill.
The resolution of the ninth National Assembly to have voted against the electronic transmission of results of any election being held in Nigeria by the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), highly, received condemnations from some civil societies, politicians, political parties and members of the general public.
However, the decision of the ninth National Assembly to have, in majority, voted against the inclusion of electronic transmission of election results and electronic voting in the new Electoral Act might have been taken in the favor of the masses, who they are representing at the National Assembly.
It is important to take note of the fact that electronic transmission of results of elections (e-Transmission)) or electronic voting (e-Voting) system will, certainly, require some digital resources with high priority of digital and physical security system.
There is no how an electronic voting system could be integrated into the Nigerian voting system without the need for robust, solid and secured server centre, web interface, data warehouse, mobile network coverage and strong security services.
Sincerely, there is no how we discuss e-Voting or e-Transmission without considering the fact that computational technology is, generally, vulnerable.
Now, it is important to ask ourselves if Nigeria has the technological viability to secure her e-Voting or e-Transmission platform from being hacked, without relying on any foreign countries who may, probably, have their political will for or against some policies and programmes of Nigerian government?
We may care to ask ourselves, if Nigeria has the technological independence to assure every electorate that results being transmitted through the e-Transmission server will not be tampered with, either via inducement or by the service of contracted hackers?
It is important to recall that Data Integrity is one of the most respected aspects of Data Warehousing. Can we ask ourselves if Nigeria, as a country, as the technological independence to ensure data integrity of the electorates, if we adopt e-Voting?
Interestingly, the Card Reader Technology that has been adopted by the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) has never been used in an election without experiencing some fraction of failures. How will this affect our electoral system, if we are to go into full blown e-Voting or e-Transmission of election results?
Overall, there is no how the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) will integrate e-Voting or e-Transmission of results without the need for, possibly, 100% mobile network coverage in all the 176,846 Polling Units across the 36 States of the Federation.
Can Nigeria Communication Commission boasts of network coverage in over 70% of the Polling Units across the 774 Local Government Areas in Nigeria?
Considerably, if there is no mobile network coverage in all the Polling Units across the country, how will e-Voting or e-Transmission of results work without, definitely, creating another set of electoral problems in Nigeria.
Sincerely, the ninth Assembly may not be wrong for their, outright, vote against the adoption of e-Voting or e-Transmission of election results in the new Electoral Act. The country may need to address some of the prominent issues, as raised in this submission, before e-Voting or e-Transmission of election results could be considered in Nigeria.
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