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E-voting at last

Posted by By GODDY OSUJI, Enugu on 2006/09/20 | Views: 756 |

E-voting at last


As politicians reject the use of electronic voting system for the 2007 election, the Computer Students Association of the Institute of Management and Technology (IMT), Enugu has taken the bull by the horn to conduct its departmental election for 2006/2007 with the system.

* Students of Institute of Management and Technology, Enugu pick leaders using electronic voting system


As politicians reject the use of electronic voting system for the 2007 election, the Computer Students Association of the Institute of Management and Technology (IMT), Enugu has taken the bull by the horn to conduct its departmental election for 2006/2007 with the system.

The elections was undoubtedly described as free and fair and devoid of rancour as was the case in the previous elections.

Perceived as an innovation, the Head of Department (HOD), Israel Aneke, was however, skeptical about recommending it for the country’s adoption because of the intricacies associated with it and the poor knowledge and exposure of the majority of people to Information Technology (IT).

According to him, “I have to say from a professional point of view that Nigeria is not yet prepared for e-voting. The prospects of conducting the elections for 2007 will require a lot of enlightenment. The technology is new and the electorate comprise a large number of uneducated, illiterate people. It will create a problem in using the system.

“Even among the educated, not everybody has sufficient ICT background to appreciate the system. And on the national perspective, we need to have more functional infrastructures for that. I will therefore suggest that Nigeria is not yet ripe to get involved in the e-voting system in an election based on these factors”.
He admitted that, “the system is relatively better than other systems adopted, having provided the population size of the election enough security in the system,” adding: “If we want to advance to cover a larger size, we need to think about more outward control to the system and security to the system against probably malpractice prospects”.

Some of the student voters acknowledged the innovation of the department in developing the first of its kind in West Africa. The president of the association, Nma praised the dedication of the department in “developing the e-voting which we are implementing at the departmental level and as you can see the system is working”.

He explained, “this system, before you access it, you have to use your pin which will enable you to vote and when you want to use it again, it would be rejected showing that you have voted. The pin is married to the voter’s number which, when accessed, will verify to show that it is the actual person.

After voting, the election result is collated at the cyber, which counts while voting. Why we did this is to show the world that we can do it, that we don’t need to go far as we have people capable to do it.
“It will not cost the government much to achieve what they intend through electronic voting”.

Also reacting to the system, Christiana Eugenia Igeyas said: “I have to give kudos to the HND 2 students. It is not easy to develop e-voting in Nigeria. Nigerians have been running away from the system, but today, IMT is adopting the system in its departmental elections. Unfortunately the Federal Government is running away from it, but with what happened today, I recommend it”.

The election was witnessed by officials of the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), who said they were there to appreciate the workings of the e-voting, even as they refused to make their feelings known. However, they confirmed the transparency of the system.

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Fay(Katy, Texas, US)says...

Actually translates to bravehearted.