INEC plans to start e-voting from 2021

INEC plans to start e-voting from 2021

As from next year, Electronic Voting Machine (EVM) will be used for future elections in the country, the Independent National Electoral Commission (IN

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As from next year, Electronic Voting Machine (EVM) will be used for future elections in the country, the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) has indicated. It said its decision on e-voting is in line with the demands by Nigerians to deepen the use of technology to conduct elections.

The commission unveiled as part of “Policy on Conducting Elections in the Context of the COVID-19 Pandemic,” uploaded on its website that:

“The Commission recognises the critical role that ICT will play in an electoral process that is being vastly reshaped by the COVID-19 pandemic, as well as the growing demands by Nigerians for the deepening of the use of technology in our elections.

“Consequently, the Commission shall:

  • Continue to apply relevant, value-for-money technology in all aspects of the electoral process and election management.
  • Regularly validate and clean up the biometric Register of Voters by removing multiple registrants and deceased persons.
  • Suspend the Continuous Registration of Voters (CVR) for the time being to prevent the health risks associated with it in the context of COVID-19.
  • Continue to make available its electronic channels for voters to check their registration status.
  • Pilot the use of Electronic Voting Machines at the earliest possible time (not Edo and Ondo), but work towards the full introduction of electronic voting in major elections starting from 2021.

Although the commission was not specific on whether it will seek constitutional backing for EVM, it said it acted in line with Section 160 (1) of the 1999 Constitution (as amended) and Section 153 of the Electoral Act 2010 (as amended),
It said: “Section 160 (1) of the 1999 Constitution (as amended) empowers the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) to by rules or otherwise, regulate its own procedure or confer powers and impose duties on any officer or authority for the purpose of discharging its functions. The Commission is also empowered by Section 153 of the Electoral Act 2010 (as amended) to issue regulations, guidelines and manuals for the purpose of giving effect to the provisions of the Act.”