The Chairman of the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), Prof. Mahmood Yakubu, says electronic voting will not be used in 2019.
Prof. Yakubu said this in Abuja on Wednesday at the end opening of a three-day International Conference of Election Management Bodies (EMBs) in West and Southern African countries in Abuja themed “Opportunities and Challenges in the Use of Technology: Experiences from West and Southern Africa”.
INEC boss, who is also the President, ECOWAS Network of Electoral Commissions (ECONEC), however, said that electronics would be deployed in the collation and transmission of elections results.
He said, “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.”
He said with the efforts being made to improve the electoral process, elections were going beyond the capacity of electoral commission to manipulate.
Prof. Yakubu, who reiterated his position that the deployment of technology in the conduct of elections has come to stay, added that the essence of the conference was to enable mutually beneficial discussions and strategy and share experience.
The Chairperson, Electoral Commission of Namibia, who also doubles as the Chairperson, Electoral Forum, SADC, Advocate Notemba Tjipuena, said Namibia is the first country to deploy technology in electoral process in Africa.
Tjipuena said the country was able to do so due to direct process of consultation to improve the efficiency of its electoral process.
“Every country has to go through their own process, no one shoe fits all approach. Every country will have to study and see where and how to deploy technology in its electoral process,” she added.
She said that technology was being deployed in the electoral process to facilitate the credibility of elections and build the confidence of the people in the entire system.
Electoral Management Bodies (EMBs) from member countries of the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) and the Southern African Development Community (SADC) attended the conference.
The conference, the first of its kind to be held in Nigeria, was organized by the INEC and the ECONEC, in collaboration with the Electoral Commissions Forum of the SADC and with technical support from the European Centre for Electoral Support (ECES).
The conference was funded by the European Union Support for Democratic Governance in Nigeria (EU-SDGN) project, managed by ECES.