Electronic voting possible in Nigeria, says Kaduna deputy governor

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The Deputy Governor of Kaduna state, Dr. Hadiza Balarabe, has said that the Kaduna state government has proven that it is possible to use electronic voting to conduct elections in Nigeria.
Balarabe stated this on Thursday at a sensitisation programme organised by the Kaduna State Independent Electoral Commission (SIECOM) for stakeholders ahead of the September council polls.
In 2018, the state government conducted Local Government elections using electronic voting machines.
According to her, the state government has invested considerably in electronic voting, stressing that the deployment of technology is aimed at ensuring that votes count and that the results reflect the choice of voters.
Balarabe commended the State Electoral Commission for making efforts to improve on the challenges faced during the 2018 council polls “by reconfiguring the Electronic Voting Machines to integrate the card reader and ensuring that each voter’s card can only be used once.”
The deputy governor said “Governor Nasir El-Rufai’s administration has demonstrated its commitment to a viable, democratically elected and responsive local government system.”
“In 2018, the Kaduna state government introduced electronic voting for the local government elections of May and June 2018.
“This required considerable investments, and we consider it a worthwhile deployment of technology towards ensuring that votes count and that the results that are declared reflect the actual preferences that the voters expressed.
“Across the state, voters found it easy to use the electronic voting machines, thereby proving that user interface is not a problem and that elections in Nigeria can be safely conducted electronically,’’ she said.
Balarabe said however that the deployment of electronic voting was not without its challenges, “which had everything to do with the attitudes of some politicians.’’
She recalled that during the council elections, INEC refused to loan its card readers to the KAD-SIECOM which was left with no option than to rely on manual accreditation.
She noted that with the reconfiguration of the electronic voting machine to integrate the card reader, KAD-SIECOM has now solved the problem.

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