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INEC mulls new technologies for 2023 polls

Published by The Nation on Tue, 12 Jan 2021


By Okodili Ndidi, AbujaThe Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) is contemplating introducing new technologies to improve the conduct of the 2023 general elections.It also hinted that existing technologies will be reviewed for optimum performance.INEC Director of Voter Education and Publicity Department (VEP), Nick Dazang, disclosed these at a workshop for the department on the Review of National Voter Education Manual in Keffi, Nasarawa State.The five-day workshop is organised by INEC in partnership with the Westminster Foundation for Democracy (WFD).Dazang said INEC began the process for electronic voting since 2004 when it introduced optic map registration forms.According to him: After that in 2010, the commission introduced the use of direct data capture machines, and then expanded the use of the machines in the conduct of the 2011 election.So, we have started the process as far back as 2004, culminating in the use of the Smart Card Reader (SCR) and the Permanent Voter Cards (PVCs) that we also used in 2015.Read Also:INEC, electronic voting and credible pollsBut the Commission is reviewing this process with a view to upgrading and improving the conduct of elections in 2023.The Commission wants to introduce new technologies that will help deepen the conduct of the elections, and also improve on them. So the commission is working assiduously on that.Very soon, when the Commission has taken a position, it will come out and explain to Nigerians how this is going to be done.He explained in introducing the new technologies, INEC would revisit the use of Card Readers and likely to introduce other technologies that will work seamlessly with electronic voting in 2023, adding the Commission has been working on that in the past few months and Gods willing in the next few months the commission will make its position known to the public.INEC would continue to introduce new technologies to the electoral system, not for the fancy of it, but the technologies that worked.Dazang also noted the Commission had no regrets on the technologies it had so far introduced for the conduct of elections in Nigeria as they had helped in deepening the process and the transparency.He said the Commission was also reviewing its voter education to enable it to explain better the planned technologies to Nigerians, nothing that in reviewing our voter education, we are looking at certain dynamics including the technologies that the commission intends to introduce.
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