Professor Mahmood Yakubu, Chairperson of Nigeria's Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), has stated that there will be no electronic voting in the western Afrikan country's upcoming 2019 general elections.
Professor Yakubu said this at the three-day International Conference of Election Management Bodies (EMBs) in West and Southern African countries in Abuja titled ‘Opportunities and Challenges in the Use of Technology: Experiences from West and Southern Africa.’
“The brainstorming was to look at the adoption of technology in all the areas of electoral process and how to provide secure platform for the transmission of election results without hindrance. We are to deploy technology within our various legal frameworks within the regions. Election is not just about technology, it is about the confidence of the people in the electoral process,” said Rofessor Yakubu.
The proclamation by Professor Yakubu is in sharp contrast to the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) where authorities have decided to go ahead with using electronic voting machines later in 2018 for the much anticipated presidential elections. That decision however, has not been welcome by opposition parties and civil society organisations in the DRC. Leading to many stating that they believe the machines can be manipulated.
Nigeria has its own issues with their upcoming elections. One of those is the spreading of fake news through various groups on Facebook that clone the identity of INEC. To this extent, INEC has officially accepted the assistance of Facebook to work together on voter education and clamping down on fake news, a decision which raised eyebrows given the ongoing Facebook and Cambridge Analytica saga and how that had an impact on the US 2016 presidential elections.
“In addition, we have to contend with the disturbing but rapidly evolving incidence of election meddling through the deployment of counter-technology on a global scale by state and non-state actors,” said Yakubu.