Can e-Voting Protect Citizens’ Mandate?

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Although the issue of electronic voting has not been fully adopted, some analysts believe its deployment would minimise electoral rigging and fraud in the coming 2019 general election. To you, can the new e-voting system help protect the average citizen’s mandate to elect credible leaders who will help improve Nigeria’s development process?

ABIMBOLA AKOSILE

* That is what it is supposed to be but not in Nigeria where, when elections are held, everybody is a winner. We were told of the last local government elections held in States that used e-voting that you could vote 100 times at different times on the same machine without detection. Citizens’ mandate can be protected only when selfishness, dishonesty, greed, religion and ethnicity are removed from our daily lives.

Hon. Babale Maiungwa, U/Romi, Kaduna

* No. Challenges of e-voting outweigh its benefits. Accessibility, cost effectiveness, security and confidentiality, eco friendliness, membership, appeal to younger members, fast accurate results e.t.c are vital gains. But access to the internet, computers, data, electricity issues, legal issues, learning curve or anxiety, programing experience and understanding of election process, designated voter support or ease of logging in e.t.c are critical challenges with e-voting we cannot ignore.

Miss Apeji Patience Eneyeme, Badagry, Lagos

* The use of e-voting in elections remains contentious. Countries such as Netherlands and Germany have stopped using it after it was shown to be unreliable. However, other countries like Brazil and India are using e-voting. E-voting system can help to protect the average Nigerian citizen’s mandate to elect credible leaders. It can help remove fears, and help effective monitoring and evaluation.

Mr. Michael Adedotun Oke, Founder Michael Adedotun Oke Foundation, Federal Capital Territory, Abuja

* Well, e-voting will help if it is well-handled by experts who know how to operate the machines. It will help to check rigging.

Mr. Gordon Chika Nnorom, Public Commentator, Umukabia, Abia State

* E-voting sounds better and it can protect citizens’ mandate if it’s done with sincerity. Like in the developed world, e-voting gained prominence because a vote cast is a vote sure. With this technology, if a candidate emerges, it will represent the voice of the people and give credibility to the chosen and calm the loser, thereby reducing cost of litigation and electoral violence which have characterised our electoral atmosphere.

Mr. Mark Ushie, Transcorp Hilton, Abuja

* Yes, e-Voting will readily protect citizens’ mandate. It will surely avert any possible forms of manipulation, recklessness, financial fraud and inducement, thuggery, ballot box snatching, bad roads, no vehicles and fuel, diversion of electoral materials, announcing wrong figures, logistics complexities, poor geographical terrains, insecurity etc. Generators must be available against any power failures. Advanced climes already enjoy huge dividends of e-voting, why not Nigeria?

Mr. Apeji Onesi. Lagos State

* Electronic voting can protect citizens’ mandate if there is sincerity of purpose. The challenge is the tendency to commit electoral fraud among some politicians, INEC officials and electorate. So, as we embrace e-voting the authority should ensure that the system is fool-proof in order to minimise abuse.

Mr. Austine Nwanya, solid minerals consultant, Abuja

* Where there’s a will, there’s a way. In any computerised system, what you put in is what you get out. If under-aged people have already been registered then the damage would still be done. However if the e-voting can be fully implemented, then certainly irregularities would be greatly reduced. Will they fully implement it, is the question?

Mr. Buga Dunj Jos, Plateau State

* Sadly, the rules of the game are violated, e.g. late arrival of election materials, snatching of materials, not identifying fingerprints by e-machines, giving room for multiple voting, disallowing temporary voters card – voting, not announcing results at some polling units. ATM card be made to have both National ID, voters cards, agricultural/fertilisers card in one card to save cost.

Mr. Dogo Stephen, Kaduna State

* E-Voting retains citizen’s mandate and gives power to the right leader. This is what we need, as long as there is no manipulation whatsoever.

Ms. Nkeiruka Abanna, Lagos State

* As is obtainable in older democracies, e-voting will help protect citizen’s mandate. Before implementing it, citizens should be sensitised on how important it is to exercise their franchise, as voter’s apathy will not augur well for us in 2019 general election.

Mr. Paul Jideofor, Dept of Languages, FCT COE, Zuba, Abuja

* I believe that it would go to a long extent to remove problem of rigging because politicians can’t influence voters who they can’t see and no physical ballot boxes to steal.

Mr. Feyisetan Akeeb Kareem,Ogwashi-Ukwu,Delta State

* Yes, e-voting would help protect citizens’ mandate. It is the right way to go in this era of technological advancement. It will help solve the worst corruption in the world: electoral corruption and ensure electoral integrity in our dear country. Once we get our electoral system right, credible people will be elected and the expected dividends of democracy will be enjoyed by the Nigerian people. God bless Nigeria.

Mr. Odey Ochicha, Leadership Specialist, Abuja

* Ideally, e-voting should help protect citizen’s mandate. But the issues of capacity building on the use of the modern voting machines, cash for votes and voters’ apathy present real challenges to an improved democratic process. It would be counter-productive to adopt the e-voting machines for 2019 and then witness massive rigging of votes.

Mr. Olumuyiwa Olorunsomo, Lagos State

* I believe that e-voting can help in protecting our mandates but to some extent because most of the cyber we use now in Nigeria are either not working well or obsolete. Over 70 per cent of the votes are cast by our illiterate population who live in the remote parts of this country with phobia for modernisation. They might decide not to come out and vote. INEC should do enlightenment campaign for the e-voting to work successfully.

Mr. Nduanya Egbuna, Political Scientist, Enugu

THE FEEDBACK

Yes, it can: 9

No, it can’t: 1

Others: 5

Total no of respondents: 15

Male: 13

Female: 2

Highest location: Abuja (5)

 

Next week: Has Can Internal Security be Improved?

 

During his Democracy Day broadcast, PMB paid particular attention to the issue of security and also assured Nigerians on public safety and freedom of movement. However, some analysts believe the insecurity issue is yet to be resolved, with daily loss of lives and property. To you, how can internal security be improved in Nigeria, to spur development?

Please make your response direct, short and simple, and state your full name, title, organisation, and location. Responses should be sent between today (May 31 & Monday, June 4) to abimbolayi@yahoo.com, greatbimbo@gmail.com, AND abimbola.akosile@thisdaylive.com. Respondents can also send a short text message to 08023117639 and/or 08188361766 and/or 08114495306. Collated responses will be published on Thursday, June 7