THE Senate Committee on Independent National Electoral Commission, INEC, yesterday bowed to pressure from Civil Society Organisations, CSOs, and other stakeholders who kicked against moves by the Senate to expunge from the Electoral Act the clause on electronic transmission of results.
The committee, which had earlier jettisoned the idea of electronic transmission of election results, in its report that would be passed today, adjusted the contentious section of the bill to state that INEC may now partially transmit results of elections by electronic means where and when practicable.
With this development, it means that the bill, when passed, will empower INEC to transmit results electronically in some parts of the country.
The report read: “52(1) Voting at an election under this bill shall be by open secret ballot.
“52(2) Voting at an election under this bill shall be in accordance with the procedure determined by the commission, which may include electronic voting.
“52(3) The commission may transmit results of elections by electronic means where and when practicable.”
Recall that in the earlier provision, Section 50 (2) of the Electoral Act Bill which was inserted into the bill, no provision was made for INEC to transmit results of any election electronically.
The section had read: “Voting at an election under this bill shall be in accordance with the procedure determined by the commission, which may include electronic voting, PROVIDED that the commission shall not transmit results of elections by electronic means.
“A voter on receiving a ballot paper shall mark it in the manner prescribed by the commission.
“All ballots at an election under this bill at any polling station shall be deposited in the ballot box in the open view of the public.”
It was gathered that the section which was “smuggled” into the bill was never part of the provisions agreed by the stakeholders and the Senate Committee on INEC during their various engagements.
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