Nigeria’s Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) on Thursday called for legislation to transmit the results of 2023 elections electronically.
The commission also showcased new processes for voter’s registration and transmission of results from ward level to the final declaration.
It said beginning from June 28 when the voter’s registration will commence, facial capture would be added with the age determination factor to discourage underage voters.
The commission said it would use a new artificial intelligence to determine perceived underage voters.
INEC, however, said all these innovations were subject to the passage of the new electoral law currently before the National Assembly.
The INEC Chairman, Prof. Mahmood Yakubu, in his presentation, through the Director of Information Communication and Technology, Dr. Chidi Nwafor, said under the new electronic voting, there would no longer be any malfunctioning of the Permanent Voters Card (PVC) on the ground that there is no internet or network.
Rather, INEC has acquired the latest technology where the data is inbuilt in Ghana PVC, adding that a prospective voter will just go and cast his or her vote without the old tale that there is no network or interest.
On the electronic voting, Nwafor said: “With the registration of voters commencing June 28 this year, all you have to do is to go online and open the INEC portal and commence the registration as a voter online.
“From here, you will be given an appointment online, where you will go to the allocated INEC office for your fingerprint and facial capture with your email address and telephone numbers.
“This is an innovation from the processes of 2011. And if in the processes of casting your votes, these two did not match, please go home as you are not entitled to vote. Your fingerprint and facial prints must match.”
This processes, he explained, must ensure that new biometrics of the prospective voter are captured.
On underage voter, Nwafor said: “We have acquired a new artificial intelligence technology that would help determine the age of any voter that is suspected to be underage.”
According to him, a transparent and credible election commences with voter registration and balloting.
He added that INEC has concluded plans for an electronic transmission of all election results in the same manner that was done in Edo and Ondo governorship elections.
He said in the new process, any interested Nigerian could track or monitor the results of the election from his or her house.
“Once results of elections are announced from the collation centres, down to the wards local governments and final collation centres, any person can monitor it without any human error.
“From the form EC8a to EC8b and Form EC8c, the result would be the same; there cannot be any difference. This we have done from the state constituency election in Nasarawa State to Edo and Ondo states. This, INEC will replicate in 2023, but this is subject to the passage of new electoral laws currently before the National Assembly,” he stated.
Chuks Okocha in Abuja