ICT Clinic (Punch Newspaper)

Technology, INEC and the 2019 general elections [ICT Clinic]

Election fever is already upon us as 2019 is around the corner. Politics and election matters are now the major news items across the country. It is believed that by the end of this month, almost all aspects of our national existence would come to a halt until the elections are over.
Interestingly, our world has become so dependent on technology that you can’t discuss elections and not mention the role of technology; whether for good or bad. The fact that we now have over 90 registered political parties is an over-stretch. How do you conduct transparent elections with over 90 political parties without technology?
Election technology if properly implemented and adhered to enhances voter identification, rules out identification fraud which encourages multiple voting and makes the voting process much easier and faster.
Although technology can guarantee electoral integrity, it is dependent on the limits of the technology deployed because technology can fail and it is prone to being compromised.
As a proud Nigerian citizen with my Permanent Voter Card, I wish to share a few thoughts on ways to ensure that we strengthen our electoral process and make it more acceptable.
Confronting the menace of fake news
Fake news is a menace that even social media platform owners don’t know how to deal with. The Director of BBC World Service, Mr. Jamie Angus, who featured on the Sunrise Daily, Channels TV a few weeks ago, said, “…as 2019 election approaches, politicians would use opportunity to plant and spread malicious stories.” His fears have also been expressed by a number of people both within and outside the government.
One thing is clear: we must confront the issue of fake news. While researching for this piece, I put a call through to the Director, Voter Education, Publicity, Gender and CSO Liaison, INEC, Oluwole Uzzi, and he said that some of the ways the commission was dealing with the challenge of fake news was through massive sensitisation, public awareness, timely release of information and access to genuine source of information.
Fake news can only be curbed with the cooperation of everyone who is using one of those devices or belongs to those platforms as purveyors of fake news.
As a personal example, I do not share or forward any information that I received except I am 100 per cent sure of the source. This is a personal policy that I have employed to ensure I am not part of the fake news promoters in any way possible.
Proper use of PVC/Smart card reader
INEC currently uses the Permanent Voter Card to facilitate voting activities in the country. Smart card readers are used to — Finish Reading on the Punch