About the National Assembly’s Amendment to the Electoral Act
Today, the National Assembly approved changes to Nigeria’s electoral act. Here are 5 things you need to know about it:
1. INSTANT TRANSMISSION OF RESULTS: The overarching objective of this new electoral act is to reduce human interference in the electoral process and minimize corruption. In this regard, the Electoral Act amendment mandates the immediate transmission of voting results from polling units to collation centers. This will help to give real-time results and updates and end election malpractice.
2. ONLINE PUBLICATION OF VOTER REGISTERS: This amendment provides a fair and more level playing ground for all contestants by mandating INEC to publish all voter registers 30 days before the election. This will end the manipulation of voter registers.
3. FULL BIOMETRIC ACCREDITATION: The Electoral Act amendment gives INEC powers to utilize full biometric accreditation of voters with smart card readers and/or other technological devices, as INEC may introduce for elections from time to time.
4. RESTRICTS ARBITRARY QUALIFICATIONS: The Electoral Act amendment ensures that political parties can no longer impose arbitrary qualification criteria on candidates. This will encourage younger voters to contest, promote competition in the process, and make elections more free and fair.
5. CONFLICT RESOLUTION MECHANISMS: The Electoral Act amendment sets our a more rigorous process for the determination of candidates, as well as creates dispute resolution mechanisms that will allow those who are aggrieved to petition quickly.