Nigeria: Electronic Transmission of Election Results in Sight As Bill Scales Second Reading

The House of Representatives yesterday passed for second reading a bill to amend the 2022 Electoral Act by making electronic transmission of results mandatory.

The amendment is also a bid to minimise fraud in the nation’s electoral process.

Titled, “A Bill for an Act to amend the Electoral Act, 2022 and for Related Matters,” the proposed legislation is sponsored by the member representing Ughelli North/Ughelli South/Udu federal constituency of Delta State, Francis Waive.

The bill seeks to amend selected sections of the current Electoral Act to provide for the re-registration of voters, same day elections, electronic transmission of results as well as punishment for frivolous election petitions.

Debating the general principles of the bill, Waive lamented the gaps in the current Electoral Act 2022, noting that an amendment of the law to pave way for the electronic transmission of election results would help the nation’s democracy.

He also argued that a review of the voter register every 10 years would be a good starting point.

The proposed legislation seeks to amend Section 10 of the Principal Act by providing for a new subsection (3) that states that “without prejudice to the provisions of this section and subject subsection (2), every 10 years, the commission (INEC) shall carry out a reregistration of all eligible voters in preparation for the next general elections.”

Also, Section 28 (1) of the Principal Act is amended by adding anew paragraph (c) as follows:

“Subject to paragraph (a) of this section, and without prejudice to other sections of this act, election into the office of the President, National Assembly, State Governors and State House of Assembly shall be conducted on the same day.”

Furthermore, Section 47 of the Principal Act is amended by inserting a new subsection (3) and the current subsection (3) now becomes sub section (4) as follows: “Where the process of accreditation specified in sub section (2) above fails, such a voter is automatically disqualified from voting, that is to say no accreditation, no voting”.

Moreso, Section 60 (5) of the Principal Act is amended by inserting the word “transmit” after transfer and also the word “electronically” at the end of the subsection that: “The presiding officer shall transfer and/or transmit the results, including total number of accredited voters and the results of the ballot electronically.”

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