A senior official of Nigeria’s Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) has refuted reports that the use of card readers to authenticate voters is unconstitutional. Both the 1999 constitution and the Electoral Act of 2010 stipulate that “electronic voting is prohibited for now.” Critics say those laws are also meant to cover the use of electronic readers to check voter registration cards. But Nick Dazang, INEC’s Deputy Director for Public Affairs said critics are misunderstanding the measures. “The card reader we are deploying for the elections is meant only for accrediting voters before they vote,” said Dazang. “Electronic voting means using a machine to vote. And in the instance of the card reader, the only thing it does is to accredit and authenticate the voter and then verify the voter as the genuine voter of the Permanent Voter Card [PVC] that we are using for the election.”
His comments came after INEC chairman Professor Attahiru Jega appeared before the Senate to answer questions surrounding the electoral body’s readiness to administer the March 28 election.
Jega cited several sections of the constitution and the electoral act to support the INEC’s decision to use the card reader, which he said is legal, according to Dazang.
But the critics say strict interpretation of the law should forbid INEC from using the card reader. They insist it would undermine the credibility of the vote.
Full Article: Nigeria Electoral Commission Targets Vote Rigging.