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The Impact of ICT in the Conduct of Elections in Nigeria

There is no gainsaying that technology has drastically reduced incidences of electoral malpractices such as: ballot stuffing, result sheet mutilation, manipulations, over voting, alteration of result sheets and hijacking of ballot boxes in the history of Nigeria elections. The Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) has employed a number of innovative approaches to improve the management and conduct of elections in the country. As years pass by, INEC gets more sophisticated with its technologies in order to meet up with international standard. Therefore, this paper examines the impact of these technologies and the effect they have on election activities in Nigeria from 1999 general election to 2017. Results show that the introduction of these technologies: Electronic Voters Register(EVR), Automatic Fingerprints Identification System (AFIS) and Smart Card Reader (SCR) have reduced the incidence of multiple registration and multiple voting to the barest minimum while the development of e-collation support platform has drastically reduced incidence of result manipulation at collation centres. Hence, it is believed that the incorporation of Information and Communication Technology (ICT) in Nigeria electoral process has reduced excessive electoral fraud to the barest minimum and foster credible elections.

Author(s): Toba Paul Ayeni and Adebimpe Omolayo Esan

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