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The Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) has said that it was determined to deepen the use of technology in the electoral process in Nigeria.

This is even as the nation’s electoral umpire said that electronic voting is one of the legacies the commission wanted to leave for Nigerian people.

Addressing a workshop on Technological Applications in the Continuous Voter Registration Process Systems for Heads of Department of ICT in the States and FCT on Monday in Lagos State, the national commissioner and chairman Information and Voter Education, INEC, Festus Okoye, said the commission must improve with every election and with every electoral cycle.

Okoye said based on the resolve of the commission to improve the quality of the register of voters and provide the opportunity for every eligible Nigerian to register to vote, some technological innovations were recently approved and introduced to the voter registration system.

He said the development was in keeping with the commission’s avowed determination to deepen the use of technology in the electoral process through innovations that introduce desirable changes and new solutions to the electoral process.

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He said the Continuous Voter Registration (CVR) process and the registration of voters was a crucial building block for any electoral democracy.

He said a credible register of voters is a sine qua non in the electoral process.

“While a register of voters of questionable integrity undermines the credibility of an election and erodes the trust of the people in the electoral outcomes, an accurate and reliable register of voters not only enhances electoral transparency and integrity; it confers credibility on electoral outcomes.

“This commission is determined to deepen the use of technology in the electoral process. We must improve with every election and with every electoral cycle. That must be our legacy and the legacy we must leave for the Nigerian people,” he said.

Okoye said the application of technological applications to the CVR process was designed to facilitate ease of registration, especially within the context of the COVID-19 pandemic, and to minimise data loss.

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He said the commission will continue to work assiduously to reduce manual processes in the nation’s electoral process, thereby reducing incidents of manipulation, human intervention, and fraud.

“Although the commission had promised to undertake the registration of eligible citizens on a continual basis as prescribed by the law, the resumption of the exercise after the 2019 General Election was delayed on account of the challenges of the COVID-19 Pandemic.

“There was not only the requirement to observe the safety protocols prescribed by the Health Authorities; it impacted negatively on the procurement process for the new registration equipment.

“Amidst the pandemic, the Commission had to contend with the conduct of two off-cycle governorship elections and pursue the expansion of voter access to polling units,” he said.

Okoye added that the ability of the commission to successfully conduct the two elections and reconfigure the polling units was a huge achievement.

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