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Nigerian Senate amends Electoral Act Approves Electronic Voting System

Nigeria now comes close to using electronic voting system in the conduct of elections by the Independent National Electoral Commission, after the country’s Senate amended the Electoral Act on Thursday.

The Senate,  passed amendments to the Electoral Act 2010, approving the use of electronic voting in future elections.

It also approved that election results should be electronically transmitted to collation centers.

Major highlights of the new bill include provision for the use of electronic voting by INEC during future elections, use of Card Reader and also gives INEC power to modify the voting process if there is a challenge.

The Senate also approved a provision to enable INEC transmit the result of elections electronically in an encrypted and secured manner to prevent hacking.

To address the incident that happened in Kogi State, during last gubernatorial election, the amended Electoral Act provides that if a candidate dies before results of elections are declared, the results will not only remain valid but belongs to the political party that lost its candidate.

It also added that in such a scenario, the INEC should suspend the elections for 21 days during which period the affected political party will conduct fresh primaries to choose a new candidate.

The Bill also gives political parties power to adopt direct or indirect primaries in choosing their flag bearers, while qualification of disqualification of candidates for elections will be solely based on the Constitution.

In his comments after the adoption of the report by the Red Chamber, Senate President, Bukola Saraki, thanked his colleagues for a job well done and expressed optimism that the Bill would further improve the nation’s electoral system and also contribute to good governance.

Saraki said: “Distinguished colleagues, let me thank all of you for this job well done.

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