The Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) has carried out a test run of the anticipated electronic voting system in Nigeria.
At its headquarters in Abuja on Monday, Mahmood Yakubu, INEC chairman, said 40 companies who indicated interest in the process “will demonstrate how their IT solutions meet our specifications”.
Over the years, there have been calls for electronic voting as a means to improve the credibility of Nigeria’s electoral process.
In the buildup of the Edo state governorship election, INEC had announced that it will “work towards the full introduction of electronic voting in major elections starting from 2021”.
At the demonstration of the electronic voting machines, Yakubu said the commission invited the companies after it developed specifications of the functions required for the process.
He described the initiative as “another giant step” in the INEC’s continuous effort to “deepen electoral integrity in Nigeria through the deployment of technology”.
“For some time now, the commission has been working on the deployment of technology in voting during elections to replace the current manual system which is tedious and requires enormous logistics to deliver huge quantities of printed materials and a large number of ad hoc staff to administer the process,” the INEC chairman said.
“To this end, 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 (EVMs) around the world for a virtual or practical demonstration of the machines.
“Over 40 companies that indicated interest will demonstrate to the commission how their IT solutions meet our specifications.
“I wish to emphasise that this is only a demonstration that will enable the commission to evaluate the available technology and where necessary finetune our specifications before proceeding to the next stage which will involve the participation of stakeholders.”
Yakubu added that INEC was committed to expediting the process that would lead to full adoption of e-voting “in earnest”.
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