Politics

2023: INEC defends e-transmission of election results

The Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), in its strongest defence of e-transmission of election results, says it has developed adequate structures and processes that can ensure the successful transmission of election results electronically.
The commission disclosed this in its “Position Paper No.1/2021 Electronic Transmission of Election” released on Saturday, in Abuja.
The commission stated that the available national infrastructures, including mobile network coverage, were adequate to provide for electronic transmission of election results.
In the paper, INEC expressed its belief that electronic transmission of results would improve the quality of election results management, while its engagement with stakeholders had shown that the Nigerian public supported electronic transmission of election results.
The objectives of the position paper, according to INEC, was to explain the desirability of electronic transmission of results as an electoral reform issue in Nigeria today, adding that it was also to clarify the position of INEC on some of the central issues around e-transmission of results.
The commission disclosed that for over a decade it had piloted the electronic transmission of election results via Short Messaging System (SMS) for off-cycle and bye-elections in 2011.
However, it noted that for the 2011 presidential results collation, INEC set up a system of transmitting state-level results electronically to the national collation centre in Abuja, ahead of the arrival of the physical result, through a secured e-mail address that only the chairman of the Commission could access.
The paper stated that the innovation enabled the results to be ready for crosschecking against the physical result and to be displayed for public viewing during collation, which had brought a lot of transparency into the final collation of Presidential election results.
It added that since 2011, it had remained the procedure for collating Presidential election results at the National Collation Centre in Abuja and had since evolved into what is today called “The Collation Support and Result Verification System (CSRVS),” even though the manually collated results were still being used to declare results.
Specifically, this system had been deployed in several major off-season/end-of-tenure and by-elections, including the Edo and Ondo state governorship elections, six senatorial and three Federal Constituency by-elections, 15 State constituencies and one councillorship constituency in the FCT, INEC said.
While IReV was not the electronic transmission of results, it noted, the portal had helped INEC to test three things that were central to electronic transmission of results, including the efficacy of electronic results management, should the legal encumbrance be lifted.
The position paper added that INEC had used the IReV portal to test the security of its systems and the capacity of the national infrastructure to support the future electronic transmission of results.

 

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