Elections: NGO calls for introduction of electronic voting, voters card transferability

A Non-Governmental Organization, Election Network has called for the introduction of electronic accreditation, voting and collation as well as transferability of voters card.

It made the call on the heels of violence and intimidation that has continued to mar election activities in the country.

Speaking on a documentary titled: “Left Behind,” conducted by the organization to ascertain the reason for the low turnout of voters at the 2019 elections, the Company’s Editor, Asari Ndem said this was majorly due to fear of violence and intimidation.

According to her, Nigerians who were unable to or chose not to vote during the 2019 elections were interviewed.

It said out of 80million registered voters only 30 percent that is 24 million voters voted at the election.

“The 2019 elections were a setback for Nigeria’s electoral and democratic framework. Officially, over 80 million Nigerians collected their voter cards from INEC but only about 30 percent of those people voted during the elections, the lowest recorded voter turnout in the history of Nigeria’s democracy.

“We found that these Nigerians were stalled by factors like administrative shortcomings, intimidation, and violence. But what stood out the most is violence,” she said.

She also stated that the presence of heavy military and police personnel in certain regions aggravated this fear and prevented people from voting.

“In the 2019 general elections, there were at least 13 incidences of electoral violence as a result of military presence at polling units,” Ndem noted.

Similarly, she said other barriers to voting were technical and administrative issues like the failure of card readers, and the lack of provisions for people living with disabilities.

To this end, she also called for the prosecution of electoral offenders, as she said, “Many voters were disenfranchised because they had registered in different places from where they currently live.

“It is important to ensure that voter cards are not only transferable but flexible, a Nigerian should be able to vote anywhere they are when the need arises,” she explained.

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