The Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), is taking yet another decisive step towards the full automation of the electoral process.
For some time now, the Commission has been working on the deployment of technology in voting during elections to replace the current manual system which is tedious and requires enormous logistics to deliver huge quantities of printed materials and a large number of ad hoc staff to administer the process.
In line with this, the Commission on Monday commenced the receipt of demonstration of Electronic Voting Machines (EVMs) from over 40 companies.
The INEC Chairman, Prof. Mahmood Yakubu, speaking at the opening of the demonstration in Abuja, said the companies would demonstrate to INEC how their IT solutions met the commission’s specifications, adding that the Commission developed the specifications of the functions required of the machine.
According to him, “After extensive discussion and review, the Commission took the decision to invite original manufacturers of Electronic Voting Machines (EVMs) around the world for a virtual or practical demonstration of the machines.
“Over 40 companies that indicated interest will demonstrate to the Commission how their IT solutions meet our specifications.
“I wish to emphasise that this is only a demonstration that will enable the Commission to evaluate the available technology and where necessary finetune our specifications before proceeding to the next stage which will involve the participation of stakeholders.
“Details of the next steps will be given at the end of the demonstrations”, he said.
While noting that the Commission is aware that Nigerians want them to deepen the use of technology in elections, he reassured Nigerians that the Commission is committed to expediting the process leading to the deployment of EVMs in elections in earnest.
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