2019 election results to be collated, transmitted electronically – INEC

The Independent National Electoral Commission has unveiled an
electronic collation and results transmission system with a view to
eliminating manual collation which the commission says enables
malpractices.
INEC’s Director of Information and Communication Technology, Chidi
Nwafor, disclosed the development on Thursday during a media parley
chaired by the commission’s chief, Mahmood Yakubu, in Abuja.
In his presentation centred on deployment of technology and
innovations to drive Nigeria’s electoral system ahead of the 2019
general elections, Mr. Nwafor highlighted the weakness of current
collation system which involves manual transmission of results sheets
from one stage to the next up to the point of final collation in the
course of which malpractices are perpetrated.
“Observations have shown that most election malpractices that take
place do not take place at polling units,” said Mr. Nwafor, a fellow
of Nigerian Society of Engineers who supervised the deployment of
permanent voters’ cards and smart readers for the 2015 elections.
He said it was barely possible to “rig” at polling units where
everybody participates in the process of counting of ballot papers and
recording of scores.
‘The challenge has been after the poll – between the polling units and
the collation centres and at the collation centre.
“INEC has therefore decided to securely transmit results from all
polling units to central database such that only viewing access is
allowed at the wards and local government levels – which ultimately
eliminates manual collation processes.”
The new e-collation system has four procedures, namely:
1.    Results from polling units will be entered into the e-collation
application on the smart card reader;
2.    Results are transmitted to a central server;
3.    Results are auto-collated and can be viewed at the RAs (wards) and
ECA8s can be scanned at that level; and
4.    Result audit and confirmation takes place at collation centres at
LGAs, state and national level.
Mr. Nwafor said the new system could be used for all elections, from
local council polls which INEC conducts in the Federal Capital
Territory to the presidential election.
He added that the system had “a flexible dashboard to with a real-time
user interface showing graphical presentation of status of results
collated per given time.”
It is expected that the e-collation system further improves the
credibility of Nigeria’s electoral process, as did PVC and smart card
reader when deployed for the 2015 elections, reputed as the most
credible since the inception of the Fourth Republic in 1999.
INEC said the new system would be first deployed for the November 2017
Anambra State governorship election as pilot phase.
“INEC is preparing for the 2019 elections and is further deploying
technology to improve its service delivery and make its processes less
prone to manipulations,” said Mr. Nwafor.
At the media parley, the chairman of the commission, Mr. Yakubu said
the commission had been meeting with security, intelligence and
military agencies to improve security of elections in Nigeria.
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