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I am a political scientist by training but at heart I am a change maker with an insatiable drive to correct the injustices that plague Nigeria.
 
 

Friday, February 4, 2011

Nigerian INEC Direct Data Capture Machine: An Election Rig Machine?

Nigeria modernize voting system with laptops and other accessories with direct data capture capability. Laptops are not Internet enabled or storing information in a national data bank: See picture below:


World Bank Managing Director, Dr. Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala registers to vote at a centre in Abuja.
While in theory this is perhaps a relatively decent idea...in practice, however, it falls short of the mark.
Compare to voters machine in the US: US diebold-voting-machine below.


While the biometrics will confirm the name the individual gave when registering to vote...it doesn't prevent voter fraud. When individuals come to register their citizenship status is not confirmed...so as long as you have registered and completed the biometrics, citizenship doesn't matter. As individuals are coming to register and vote, since it is not a National database in theory an individual can register at several Local Service Centers, LGA. States or Precincts and vote multiple times. While this is one important piece of the puzzle it is not a STAND ALONE METHOD of resolving voter fraud. As a stand alone measure, it does not prevent voter fraud. This is a travesty that Nigerian government dollars are being spent on machines that don't circumvent voter fraud. A better approach would be to have a national database that tracks the identity of all persons in the country. The voter database would be built off of this database. Individuals can only be allowed to vote in their particular Local Government Area of RESIDENCE or Precinct. This will also prevent individuals from voting multiple times. Perhaps Nigeria needs to study the voting processes and systems that are set up in developed countries. Why reinvent the wheel?

Picture of US citizens using the US diebold-voting-machine at the Polling Booth below: