NASS Queries Adoption of Electronic Voting


Sen. Kabiru Gaya, Chairman, Senate Committee on Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) says the National Assembly is looking at the possibility of adopting electronic voting in the country.

Gaya who represents Kano South in the 9th Senate and a former governor of Kano State, said this at the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) forum in Abuja.

He, however, said that the main focus of the National Assembly presently was to ensure that elections in the country were transparent, free and fair.

He added that Nigerians should be confidence in the country’s electoral process.

The lawmaker said just as the card readers were introduced into the country’s electoral system, the National Assembly was exploring the possibilities of adopting electronic voting.

“Now we are trying to introduce electronic voting, so we are also working on that process, we have also agreed that INEC can decide to do electronic voting,’’ he said.

He explained that INEC could not embark on such venture initially because there was no approval.

He expressed optimism that in the nearest future, electronic voting would be adopted in the country.

“We should have a designed system that should be able to work for us to do electronic voting where an ordinary woman or man in the village will know where to touch to vote for a party,” he said.

Gaya said that just as the card readers had been accepted by Nigerians for voting, electronic voting would also be accepted when it was eventually introduced.

He decried the numbers of political parties on the ballot papers, noting that most of the parties do not even have elected councilors.

He said the new law will ensure that any political party that does not have a seat at the House of Assembly, Senate or Local Government will not be on the ballot paper.

Gaya stressed that such parties should be deregistered to reduce the size of the ballot paper.

The lawmaker said there was need to cut down the number of political parties in the country, especially as most of them do not even have offices.

“Even though the parties are not happy and have gone to court to challenge INEC.

“I believe that we will continue to exercise our powers in making sure that we have few political parties than this number of mushroom political parties,’’ he said.

He maintained that a political party that does not have elected representative has no business being on the ballot paper.

He decried the current criteria for registering political parties in the country, saying that the process of amending the Constitution to change the criteria was in place.

He said a political party must have a wide spread and must have presence in all parts of the country and not a state or local government area.

“I believe there is a need to look at the Constitution to review the criteria for registering political parties,” he said.

National News