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Nigerians react as INEC says 2023 election will be collated manually

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MIXED and angry reactions have trailed claims by the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) that the results of the 2023 general elections would be collated manually.

According to Punch newspaper, INEC spokesperson Festus Okoye said the Electoral Act was clear on how collation should be done.

Okoye said that the results from each polling unit during the polls would be transmitted electronically to its result-viewing portal, IReV, as witnessed in recent state governorship elections in the country.


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“There is a marked difference between the transfer/transmission of results and the collation of results. Section 50(2) of the Electoral Act, 2022 gives the Commission the absolute discretion to determine the mode and procedure of voting in an election and the transmission of election results,” he said.

“Sections 60 and 62 of the Electoral Act govern post-election procedure and collation of election results. Section 60(1) of the Act provides that the presiding officer shall, after counting the votes at a polling unit, enter the votes scored by each candidate in a form to be prescribed by the Commission.

“Section 60(5) of the Act makes it mandatory that the presiding officer shall transfer the results, including total number of accredited voters and the results of the ballot in a manner prescribed by the commission. Thereafter, the presiding officer shall after recording and announcing the results deliver the same along with election materials under security and accompanied by the candidates or their polling agents, where available to such person as may be prescribed by the Commission.”

He explained that while the collation of results would essentially be done manually, the collation officer would always rely on what was collated on the BVAS for judgment where there was a dispute regarding a collated result or the result from any polling unit.

“The implication of this is that the collation process of results is still essentially manual, but the collation officer must collate subject to his verification and confirmation that the number of accredited voters stated on the collated result are correct and consistent with the number of accredited voters recorded and transmitted directly from polling units.”

Okoye’s statement has stirred up many reactions from Nigerians who preferred that results from the polls should be collated electronically to curb rigging.

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While some said that the greatest threat to the election was INEC, they vowed to defend their votes against any rigging.

 

 

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