Senate amends Electoral Act, approves E-Voting

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[Abuja]–The Nigerian Upper chamber has on  Thursday, March 30, passed amendments to the Electoral Act 2010, approving the use of electronic voting in subsequent elections.

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

The passage which followed the consideration of the report of the Senate Committee on the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) amended the Electoral Act No. 6, 2010 and other related matters (SB 231 and SB 234).

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 directly from collation centres.

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.

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