How Technology Is Making It Harder To Rig Elections In Nigeria

Written by Staff

In 2007, Musa Yar’Adua was elected president of Nigeria in an election so flawed, one of his major actions as president was to push for electoral reforms.

To his credit, progress was made and an election like 2007 (described as “a charade” by election observers) is unlikely today. One of the main reasons? Nigeria’s electoral commission has embraced technology.

While Nigeria’s elections are by no means fully electronic, the country now uses permanent voter cards verified by electronic card readers to accredit voters. This has proven a major leap.

Story from Quartz. By Yomi Kazeem.

Associated Press

Under the current system, voters show up at polling units and have their PVC verified by card readers before being allowed to vote. The two-step authentication eliminates the dual problems of impersonation and multiple voting—previously rampant rigging tactics. It’s a major shift from the past when only paperwork (which could easily be faked) was enough to allow voters cast a ballot.

“The smart card readers and PVCs were a very important innovation that really enhanced the credibility of the elections,” says Richard Klein, senior adviser for elections at the National Democratic Institute (NDI). As Quartz Africa has reported, improvements in making elections more secure have forced politicians to rethink their campaign tactics to reach and convince voters directly.

Read more at Quartz.