INEC Chairman insists on using technology for elections

December 22, 2021
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Chairman of the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), Prof. Mahmood Yakubu has said the Bimodal Voter Accreditation System (BVAS), and the uploading of Polling Unit results on the INEC Result Viewing (IReV) portal in real-time on Election Day are here to stay.

Prof. Yakubu disclosed this on Tuesday at a meeting with Resident Electoral Commissioners (RECs) in Abuja to review the Anambra Governorship election, and also to discuss the ongoing Continuous Voter Registration (CVR), preparations for forthcoming elections and other related matters.

He said the Commission piloted two important technological innovations in the Anambra State Governorship election. “The Bimodal Voter Accreditation System (BVAS) was deployed for the first time in a major election after the successful pilot in the Isoko South I State Constituency in Delta State in September this year.

“The BVAS has come to stay. So too is the uploading of Polling Unit results on the INEC Result Viewing (IReV) portal in real-time on Election Day. We are convinced that the introduction of technology in voter accreditation and result management is better than the best entirely manual process. It also increases public confidence in the process. We will continue to deepen the use of technology in our elections.

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“The BVAS has replaced the Smart Card Reader for verification and authentication as part of our improved voter accreditation process.

According to him, the new technology was designed in-house by INEC engineers, and like every new technology, glitches were observed and important lessons have been learnt.

“We wish to assure Nigerians that the Commission has reviewed the performance of the BVAS in Anambra State and there will be a tremendous improvement leading to optimal performance in future elections.

Prof. Yakubu said in the just concluded Anambra guber polls, dedicated portals were created by the Commission to handle different aspects of the electoral process.

“For instance, the nomination of candidates by political parties, including the uploading of nomination forms, is now done online. So too is the accreditation of election observers and the media.

“In addition, and for the first time in the history of the Commission, the accreditation of polling and collation agents nominated by political parties was done online. This has ensured that all such agents were provided with identification tags bearing not only their party logos, names and other personal details but personal photographs as well.

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Also speaking on the ongoing Continuous Voter Registration (CVR), Prof. Yakubu disclosed that INEC has completed the Second Quarter of the exercise which commenced online in June and physically at designated centres in July.

“We have also been giving Nigerians weekly updates for the last six months. The Third Quarter of the exercise will commence in January next year. The Commission is aware that Nigerians would like to know when the exercise will be devolved beyond our State and Local Government offices to enable more citizens to register.

In addition, there are eight pending bye-elections involving three Federal Constituencies (Jos North/Bassa in Plateau State, Akure North/Akure South in Ondo State and Ogoja/Yala in Cross River State) and five State constituencies (Shinkafi in Zamfara State, Ekiti East I in Ekiti State, Akpabuyo in Cross River State, Pankshin South in Plateau State and Giwa West in Kaduna State).

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