Expert Advocates Electronic Voting System for Credible Elections


Emma Okonji

In order to address all contentious issues that arise during electrons, technology expert has called on African leaders, including Nigeria, to adopt electronic voting system in future elections.

Lead Programmer for @SW eVS2015, Mr. Gene Oghenenohwo Otomewo who spoke to THISDAY on the need for electronic voting system, said the idea would help Nigeria and other African countries, have free, fair, credible and non-controversial elections in the future.

According to him, no balloting, for instance in Nigeria, has been spared of being allegedly tainted by a series of malpractices. Not even the June 12, 1993 presidential election, widely acclaimed to be Nigeria’s first free and fair election, was said to be credible in the opinion of critics.

He said controversies have also trailed the outcomes of the Gubernatorial, National and State Houses of Assembly re-run elections held in Nigeria in the last two years.

He therefore called on the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) to adopt electronic voting system in order to achieve free and fair elections in the next general elections coming up in 2019.

To help Nigeria and the rest of African countries achieve electronic voting system, Otomewo said his team of software programners developed ‘Electronic Voting Platform’, which is a digital voting solution that allows voters to vote via SMS.

According to him, the ‘Electronic Voting Platform’ has become the world’s most advanced electronic voting system that no country had ever used. He said not even the so-called advanced democratic countries have found it necessary to implement digital voting solutions that would require an SMS technology, thus making the digital solution proudly Nigerian.

Speaking on how the digital solution works, Otomewo said every position being contested for, would have a code such as ‘A’ for President and ‘B’ for Governor, and that a simple alphabetic filter would be employed to aid coding.
Every eligible voter’s phone number together with the passport photo is registered on the platform. On the voting day, every registered voter will undergo a two-stage accreditation process via SMS, and only successfully accredited voters can vote on election day via SMS.

He said the digital voting platform would eliminate most challenges in electoral process and also save government from declaring public holidays during election period, as the system would allow people to vote at their convenience from the comfort of their homes and offices.

He said the system is completely tamper-proof, completely hacker-proof and completely secured.
“With the digital solution, election results are automatically and instantly processed and displayed on a screen as votes come in via SMS, and votes are immune to any form of remote electronic and physical attacks, thereby making the entire voting process, highly credible,” Otomewo said.

Aware that Nigeria is a signatory to an international treaty of protecting intellectual property world-wide, our team has applied for a copyright from the Nigerian Copyright Commission (NCC), he added.