Nigeria is a great country that is full of milk and honey. The giant of Africa, no doubt.
But the political system is really worrying. They said politics begin at home. Yes, I believe this. We are all politicians. We practice it at home, work and even church. Let’s take a look at this, a father who favours one child over another already portrays an act of politics.
According to history – Elections have been the usual mechanism by which modern representative democracy has operated since the 17th century.
Despite election has been around for decades, our registration and voting system still has numerous problems. During this year’s election, some voters experienced many difficulties. Some polling centers ran out of ballot paper. Some of the voting machines did not work. The registration database contained errors which prevented some from voting. Millions of disabled voters were not able to vote. In some cases, voters stood in line for hours. Other problems occurred at some polling centers including altercations.
I was opportune to work as a Presiding Officer during my NYSC Program in Kano this year, 2019. Many corp members see it as an avenue for making money. Everyone was asked to sleep at the RAC center in order to collect all the materials. I couldn’t sleep overnight because of unexpected violence that can occur at any time.
As usual, many lives were lost. The annoying part was, INEC promised to pay 30,000 for the two elections that were conducted but failed to redeem it. Instead, they paid based on random selection. What about the people that lost their lives during the course of the election? Nobody remembers them except their family and friends. If INEC couldn’t pay the living, I doubt that if they would remember the victims.
One more thing, I realize that many people are scared to come out during election time. They don’t want to endanger their lives. In a situation like this, we need an online voting system.
There are many advantages which could be made possible with Internet voting. There would be an increase in the number of voters as they would enjoy convenience just like they have in many aspects of lives – banking, healthcare, education, entertainment, and e-commerce. Our overseas citizens can also vote from anywhere in the world without having to rely on the outdated paper ballot and postal system.
Going for online voting will surely reduce the high rate of violence during election time, reduce election manipulation and also increase the number of voters.
Advantages of online voting.
- It reduces violent: The high rate at which our voting system claim lives is acerbic. I think by using an online voting system, it will surely reduce the act of violence in our country.
- Security and confidentiality. A properly designed, secured online voting system has safeguards in place to protect voting information and voter identities. A voting website hosted on a secure server will only be accessible to authorized members through unique voter logins. Online ballots are transmitted from voters’ computers or mobile devices to balloting systems using SSL (Secure Sockets Layer).
- Fast and accurate: We don’t have to wait for many days for the winners to be announced. With the advent of technology, it will be fast and accurate.
- Convenience: Anyone that is of age to vote can vote at any convenient time and place. This eliminates the need for transportation, and problems such as lack of childcare, illness, confusion about polling locations and queues. It would make voting easier and more private for those with disabilities, anxiety issues or serious medical conditions.
I don’t know if it’s possible to implement online election, but I think we should give it a try. We are Nigerian. The giant of Africa.
God bless Nigeria!