Senate approves electronic voting, card readers for 2019 elections

The Senate has empowered the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) to use electronic voting method in conducting future elections, including the 2019 general election.

It also legalised the use of the electronic smart card reader which INEC introduced during the 2015 general election.

The upper chamber made these provisions, while doing a clause by clause consideration of the report of the Senate Committee on INEC on a bill for an Act to Amend the Electoral Act No 6, 2010 and for other related matters, which was adopted at Thursday’s plenary.

The electronic voting method is contained in Section 52 of the principal Act, which the Senate amended by substituting for subsection (2), a new subsection “(2)” in the new law.

Subsection 2 reads, “the Commission shall adopt electronic voting in all elections or any other method of voting as may be determined by the Commission from time to time.”

The explanatory note provided by the Senate to justify this provision states, “this amendment mandates e-voting without ambiguity but also gives the Commission discretion to use other methods if it is impracticable to use e-voting in any election.”

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