At the just concludedÂ Â Nigeria Computer Society (NCS) Annual General Meeting, AGM, held in Abuja,Â the Nigerian IT Professionals haveÂ successfully implemented the electronic voting (e-Voting) processÂ which was automated and conducted electronically and exclusively by Nigerian IT Professionals.
With this development, it is evident enough that withÂ real_time electronic_voting is possible for the 2011 National Election is possible if all hands are on deck, especially from the government.
For the industry watchers,Â it is accepted across the board, that the integrity of the election process is fundamental to the integrity of democracy and national development. The Machine and Knowledge society is here and Nigeria must not be left behind.
Before now, theÂ President of United States of America,Â Barrack Obama during his recent visit to Africa had told African Leaders that there isÂ â€œNo more excusesâ€
Speaker after speaker who spoke at the conferenceÂ strongly believe thatÂ there should be no more excuses for Nigeriaâ€™s inability to deliver a crisis_free election process and results through e-voting.
Looking at global trends where e-voting system has worked, NigerianÂ IT professionals have now stepped in with a impeccable, reliable and efficient e_voting solutions roadmap to assist INEC to enhance the value of our electoral process.
Nigeriaâ€™s electoral system and process, the conference noted,Â has been hunted by â€œVote inflation, destruction, cancellation and Vote snatching or hijackingâ€ for a very long time.
This process, according to the conference, has eroded the confidence of Voters and established an endemic votersâ€™ apathy amongst Nigerian. Indeed, this scenario constitutes the core challenge of Nigeriaâ€™s electoral process â€“ that is, the ability and capability to generate and deliver secured, authentic, transparent and generally accepted electoral result.Â The solution is automated election through e_voting.
But withÂ the actualization of this real-tife e_voting program conducted at the recent AGM election for the National Executive Council Members of the Nigeria Computer Society (NCS), one can confidently affirm that e_voting is indeed very possible and feasible in Nigeria.
ForÂ majority of theÂ participants,Â E-Voting has therefore become the hallmark of a successful democratic system of governance. â€“ thanks to Information Technology.
Currently,Â the role of Information and Communications Technology (ICT) Infrastructure, the IT Professionals believeÂ is acknowledged as fundamental and critical to the success attained by e_voting system of political election. An electoral voting machine forms a critical part of the fundamental process
Globally,Â a well planned and executed election process, experts saidÂ allows the populace to choose their leader_representatives _ thereby, expressing their franchise and preferences on how they will be governed.
It is therefore significant to emphasize that election e_votingÂ system must be professionally planned, organized, transparently executed and indeed the operational framework must be sufficiently robust to withstand a variety of fraudulent and smart by half behaviors.
For the system to work, the IT professionals believe that theÂ entire process must be sufficiently transparent and comprehensible to ensure that voters and candidates can accept the results of an election.
In Nigerian system, for instance, history is littered with examples of elections being manipulated in order to influence their outcome.
â€œThe design of a â€œgoodâ€ voting system, be itÂ electronic or using traditional paper ballots or mechanical devices,Â must satisfy a number of sometimes competing criteria.
â€œThe anonymity of a voterâ€™s ballot, Nigerian IT experts notedÂ must be preserved, both to guarantee the voterâ€™s safety when voting against a malevolent candidate, and to guarantee that voters have no evidence that proves which candidates received their votesâ€ the conference added.
Meanwhile, experts have noted thatÂ the voting system must also be tamper-resistant to thwart a wide range of attacks, including ballot stuffing by voters and incorrect tallying by insiders.
A voting system must be comprehensible to and usable by the entire voting population, regardless of age, infirmity, or disability. Providing accessibility to such a diverse population is an important engineering problem and one where, if other security is done well, electronic voting could be a great improvement over current paper systems. Flaws in any of these aspects of a voting system, however ,can lead to indecisive or incorrect election results.