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Senate To Pass Bill On Electoral Reforms, E-Voting 
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Senate To Pass Bill On Electoral Reforms, E-Voting 

Eludoyin Oluwanisola

The Senate has begun a fresh electoral reform, which has mandated the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) to adopt the electronic voting method for future polls.

The lawmakers also compelled INEC to operate an electronic database, into which all results in an election should be transmitted.

A bill to amend the Electoral Act 2010, through which the reform would be achieved, has already been published in an official gazette and debate on its general principles is likely to begin on the floor of the Senate during the week.

“The commission shall compile, maintain and update on a continuous basis, a register of election results to be known as the National Electronic Register of Election Results which shall be a database of election results from each polling unit, including collated results of each election conducted by the commission.

“National Electronic Register of Election Results shall be kept by the commission at its national headquarters and any person or political party may obtain from the commission, on payment of reasonable fees as may be determined by the commission, a certified true copy of any election result kept in the National Electronic Register of Election Results for the federation, a state, local government, area council, ward or polling unit, as the case may be and the certified true copy may be in printed or electronic format,” the bill read.

On the specific provisions for the adoption of the central database, the bill, sponsored by the Deputy Senate President, Ovie Omo-Agege (APC, Delta State), and Abubakar Kyari (APC, Borno State), seeks amendment of section 65 of the Electoral Act 2010, by introducing a “National Electronic Register of Election Results.”

On electronic voting, the Electoral Reform Bill seeks amendment of section 52 (2) of the 2010 Electoral Act, and introduced a new provision, stating that “the commission may adopt electronic voting or any other method of voting, in any election it conducts, as it may deem fit.”