Politicians have continued to express views on the senate’s amendment of the Electoral Act which legalised electronic voting and electronic result and transmission system.
The amendment also gave legal backing to the use of smart card readers for voters’ accreditation.
The amendment followed the senate’s adoption of the report of the alteration of the Electoral Act, 2010, by its committee on INEC, and subsequent passage of the amendment bill.
The politicians told the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) in interviews on Thursday that the amendment had put an end to controversies surrounding the legality of the use of smart card readers.
INEC introduced the card readers in the 2015 General Elections for voters’ accreditation but the Supreme Court, in its rulings on Delta, Rivers and Akwa Ibom governorship elections, faulted the use.
The National Chairman of Progressive Action Council (PAC), Chief Charles Nwodo, said that the amendment would end results manipulation.
“It is a good development; electronic voting is a very good development because it will put an end to the issue of manipulation of results,’’ Nwodo said.
He urged INEC to train its workers on how to handle the technology.
“It is a good opportunity for INEC to start early training of personnel to ensure that the era of fire brigade approach is gone.
Nwodo called on the Federal Government to make funds available for the commission to procure necessary materials for the election.
He advised that INEC should carry out mock elections to convince itself and Nigerians that it could handle electronic voting.
Nwodo urged the commission to be aware of the legal implications of using electronically-generated copies as evidence in courts.
The Lagos State Chairman of Alliance for Democracy (AD), Mr Kola Ajayi, said that the amendment showed that Nigeria was advancing in democracy.
“But implementation matters most,’’ he, however, said.
He said that Nigerians would use the electronic voting to measure the credibility of the present crop of INEC commissioners.
The Lagos State Chairman of Action Alliance (AA), Mr. Shola Omolola, said that the amendment showed an improvement on Nigeria’s electoral process.
“It is highly commendable and in line with global best practices.
“We support it in totality; all we pray for is that it should not be manipulated.
“INEC has to show that it is unbiased and should give all parties equal opportunities,’’ Omolola said.
The Lagos State Chairman of the People’s Democratic Movement (PDM), Dr Akin Badmus, said that regular power supply would be needed to make efficient e-voting, use of smart cards and electronic result and transmission system expected to eliminate manual collation of results.
The House of Representative is expected to give its concurrence or otherwise to the amendment before it can be forwarded to the president for assent before it can be enforced. (NAN)