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Engineers advocate for e-voting in next election

13 January 2014, 11:27Henry Ifeanyi

Lagos - The Nigerian Society of Engineers (NSE) has recommended that the Independent Electoral Commission (INEC) use the Nigeria Communication Satellite’s (NigComSat’s) e-Voting platform to ensure credible elections next year.

The society said it was also willing to offer technical support to INEC on the platform having successfully used it to elect members of its current executives.

Speaking at the inauguration of the new executive members, President of the Society, Engr Mustapha Balarabe Shehu, said the country would save money by employing the platform.

“We have successfully used the NigComSat e-Voting platform to elect our executive members twice and we believe that INEC could also use the platform in the coming election. Government is already tackling the issue of power and broadband penetration. Once that is settled, I believe the next thing is for INEC to key in into the e-voting platform. We have tested it twice and we believe that it is workable," he said.

He explained how the society conducted its election using the NigComSat e-Voting platform.

“Prelude to the e-voting, an e-registration took place a day before where all eligible engineers had their data captured and saved on a database. Biometric details included photographs, finger prints among others for Radio Frequency Identification (RFID). In all, 2048 engineers were captured during the registration and 1574 voted eventually. These figures surpassed those of previous year which recorded 1 313 on the register while 1303 voted,” said Shehu.

According to the NSE executive, the NIGCOMSAT platform included 30 networked computers that were connected to a central server and the internet to enable agents of contestants monitor the election online, real time. The platform was fitted with enhanced software developed by the Micro Electronic Centre (MEC) at NIGCOMSAT.

He advised INEC to use the platform on a small-scale for a pilot test and then eventually expand it to cover the entire country.

– CAJ News

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