CARD READERS ON ELECTION CREDIBILITY: ISSUES AND PROSPECTS
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2.1 card readers on election credibility
Industry stakeholders have continued to hail INEC for introducing card readers in the 2015 general elections, which they said, helped in no small measure in reducing election fraud across the country, despite the challenges that came with it. According to them, the card reader technology did not only reduce election rigging and snatching of ballot boxes from polling units, but also enhanced speedy and accurate electoral processes during accreditation of voters. Chief Executive Officer of Teledom Group, Dr. Emmanuel Ekuwem, told THISDAY that the use of card reader machines for the 2015 general elections has proved that INEC could conduct credible elections with minimal complaints (This Day Live, 2015). The use of card readers for elections is highly commendable because it has helped reduced election fraud like multiple registrations and multiple voting. With the card readers, the true identities of card holders were matched with the details contained in their permanent voter’s cards (PVCs), during accreditation and the process helped in reducing fraudulent accreditation that marred electoral processes in the past,” (Ekuwem, 2015). He advised INEC to continue to explore the power of technology in subsequent elections, and called on the electoral body to create a backend database that is linked with the card readers in order to give voters the opportunity to vote from anywhere in the country, using their PVC, instead of restricting them to vote only in their registration centres.He advised INEC to apply the technology of Automated Teller Machines (ATM) cards issued by banks, which allows card holders to withdraw cash from any bank that is located anywhere in the country (Ekuwem, 2015).