Reps reject e-voting, outlaw manual accreditation

The House of Representatives on Thursday again rejected electronic voting in the country’s elections.

By implication, voters will not use electronic machines to cast their ballot.

The lawmakers took the decision in Abuja as they reconsidered the Electoral Act (Amendment) Bill, 2018.

The long title of the bill read, “A bill for an Act to amend the provisions of the Electoral Act, No. 6, 2010 to further improve the electoral process and for related matters.”

An attempt to specify in the law that electronic voting should be legalised was rejected by members.

However, the use of the card reader solely for accreditation of voters was approved by the lawmakers.

The House also outlawed the use of manual accreditation for election by the new provision.

Under the new provision, which is a new Section 18 (3), where the card reader fails in any unit, “the election in that unit shall be suspended and conducted within 24 hours.”

The provision indicates that manual accreditation shall no longer serve as an alternative to accreditation with the card reader.

The members also passed a new Clause 8 to amend Section 31 of the Principal Act to provide that a political party shall not suffer for the action of a candidate who supplied false information to the Independent National Electoral Commission.

Under the Principal Act, the court is empowered to disqualify both the candidate and the political party where a dispute arises that the candidate supplied false information in the affidavit submitted to INEC.

But, in the amendment passed on Thursday, the lawmakers said only the candidate should be disqualified in such circumstances and not with the political party.

A member from Rivers State, Mrs. Betty Apiafi, moved the amendment as lawmakers considered the report.

“The political party did not ask the candidate to supply false information. The party can only work with the information supplied by the candidate, believing it to be true.

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