Wednesday, November 24, 2021

INEC to deepen use of technology, commends Ndi Anambra - ITREALMS

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The Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) has reiterated determination to deepen the use of technologies in electoral process in the country, reports 
ITREALMS.
Prof. Mahmood Yakubu of INEC
The chairman of INEC, Prof. Mahmood Yakubu made this known at an interactive meet with online publishers in Lagos on Wednesday, just as he commended Ndi Anambra for peaceful conduct during the just concluded governorship election in the state.
He also said that why they introduced some new innovations especially in technology deployment was to deepen the use of technology and reduce human intervention in the critical stages of the electoral process.

He listed a few these new innovations to include the submission and processing of nominations forms and other applications online to drastically discourage human intervention in the electoral process.

Since the 2019 General Election, he underscored the fact that some of the commission’s activities are now conducted either partially or entirely online through dedicated portals, which include the “Voter pre-registration; Nomination of candidates for election by political parties; Submission of list of polling and collation agents by political parties; Accreditation of national and international observers for election; and accreditation of media organisations for elections.”

Equally, Prof. Yakubu pointed out that with INEC’s Continuous Voter Registration (CVR) and launch of online registration portal they undertook fresh registration of eligible voters with every general election until 2010 when the first reliable biometric register of voters was compiled, stressing that thereafter, the practice has been to undertake intermittent registration of voters on the eve of major elections.

“In our determination to serve Nigerians better and in response to repeated calls by stakeholders, the Commission introduced a dedicated portal for online registration on 28th June 2021,” he said.

This, he told ITREALMS, allows intending registrants to commence the process online by filling the forms, upload their pictures and required documents, and then make an appointment on the web portal for a date and time to visit an INEC State or Local Government Area (LGA) office to give their fingerprints and complete the registration.

INEC chairman, in addition said, those who are already registered as voters can carry out all the other activities such as transfers, correction of personal details and replacement of damaged or defaced Permanent Voters’ Cards (PVCs) online.

“Nigerians have fully embraced and are taking full advantage of the services available on the portal,” he declared.

The Commission, he said, has been updating Nigerians every week on new development since the CVR started. As of 22nd November 2021, the CVR platform had recorded a total of 4,297,494 fresh registrants while 1,856,771 registrants have validated their application.

On the INEC Voter Enrolment Device (IVED), he said, in June this year, INEC introduced a special gadget designed in-house by the Commission’s Engineers but fabricated abroad. It performs a variety of functions including physical registration of voters, fingerprint and facial authentication on election day and uploading of the polling unit result sheets to the INEC Result Viewing (IReV) portal.

As said by him, while IVED was used at the resumption of the Continuous Voter Registration in June this year, it first was deployed for the Bimodal Voter Accreditation System (BVAS) in the Isoko South 1 State Constituency bye-election in Delta State on 11th September 2021 and later for the recently concluded Anambra Governorship election.

“In both elections, the equipment performed the functions of the Smart Card Readers (SCR) and the Z-Pad,” he said.

Further, he said that INEC Result Viewing Portal was introduced as the Commission’s efforts to engender transparency in the electoral process, to make available for public view copies of the polling unit election result sheet, known as Form EC8A on Election Day.

“By Clicking on http://inecelectionresults.com and creating an account and password, any interested Nigerian can have access to the portal and view polling unit results as they are uploaded live. The Nasarawa Central Constituency bye election held on 8th August was the first to have its polling units’ results uploaded to the portal, followed by the Edo and Ondo Governorship elections,” the chairman said.

ITREALMS equally gathered that before the introduction of IReV, the Commission had, during the 2017 Anambra State Governorship election, introduced the pasting of Form EC 60E, also known as the “People’s Result Sheet” at Polling Units, where citizens could view the result of each polling unit.

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