By Ahmed Rahma
The Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) has declared that it was working on improving the conduct of elections in the country, especially the general polls in 2023.
With a view of upgrading and improving the conduct of the elections, the commission said it was reviewing some adopted technologies and will be introducing new ones, not for the fancy of it but for the technologies that work.
The commission added that it was also reviewing its voter education to enable it to explain better the planned technologies to Nigerians.
Speaking at a workshop for the Voter Education and Publicity (VEP) department on the ‘Review of National Voter Education Manual”, organized in conjunction with the Westminster Foundation for Democracy (WFD), the Director of the department, Mr Nick Dazang, said the electoral umpire has no regrets on the technologies it had so far introduced for the conduct of elections in Nigeria as they have helped in deepening the process and the transparency.
At the five-day workshop held in Keffi, Nasarawa state, the director said, “INEC began the process for electronic voting since 2004 when it introduced optic map registration forms.
“After that in 2010, the commission introduced the use of direct data capture machines, and then expanded the use of the machines in the conduct of the 2011 election.
“So, we have started the process as far back as 2004, culminating in the use of the Smart Card Reader (SCR) and the Permanent Voter Cards (PVCs) that we also used in 2015.
“But the commission is reviewing this process with a view to upgrading and improving the conduct of elections in 2023.
“The commission wants to introduce new technologies that will help deepen the conduct of the elections and also improve on them. So the commission is working assiduously on that.
“Very soon, when the Commission has taken a position, it will come out and explain to Nigerians how this is going to be done,” Dazang said. He disclosed that “The commission has been working on that in the past few months and God’s willing in the next few months the commission will make its position known to the public.”
“In reviewing our voter education, we are looking at certain dynamics including the technologies that the commission intend to introduce.
“We have to be on top of the matters so that we can explain the application of these technologies to Nigerians as we did when we introduced SCR, direct data capturing machines and PVCs,” he added.
Mr Dazang described voter education as a key part of the electoral process that needed concerted efforts not just from INEC, but all stakeholders.
“If you look at what is happening around the globe including Nigeria, so many changes are happening that necessitate the urgency to review voter education.”
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