Nigeria will be implementing biometric voting system in the upcoming elections
Nigeria will use a bimodal biometric voting system in order to uphold a clean electoral system. Previously, the country used the smart card method, which proved very ineffective. Looking at the condition and several flaws of the smart card system, the authorities decided that implementing a bimodal biometric voting system would be appropriate to tackle the situation.
The Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) is very persistent in the use of BVAS. It faithfully believes that the system will be very beneficial and will truly aid in accommodating a fair electoral system.
Issues With The Current Smart Card System In Nigeria
The Nigerian elections were facing several misconducts due to the lack of management. The simple yet seemingly effective smart card system proved to be horribly ineffective for the country. However, the whole premise of a voting system is built upon the fair election of a leader. With a biometric voting system, each individual will be able to affect the election through their individual votes.
In Nigeria, people tended to rig the voting polls by using multiple voter cards or using another person’s smart card. Such malpractices are also common among many developing nations throughout the world. The manual process of the voter registration system and the lack of technology are some of the key reasons for this.
An election should consist of freedom of speech and fairness. The INEC recognizes the importance of a fair voting system, which is why, to tackle the issues, they proposed to implement a bimodal biometric voting system. The commission firmly believes that this system is going to affect functionality. Festus Okoye, the INEC’s national commissioner for information, was adamant that the BVAS was secure and reliable and that the 2022 Electoral Act called for its use.
How the BVAS Works
The BVAS uses biometric data to register voters. It is very important to identify the individuality of each voter to avoid malpractice. As biometric data are unique for each individual, this system reduces the chance of identity theft or inputting multiple votes during the voting process.
The INEC will be able to set up a voting system with any electronic system using the BVAS, giving people the privilege to vote from anywhere in the country. This will genuinely benefit disabled people who are eligible to vote but unable to attend a polling place. The idea that states that “every vote counts” can truly be exercised with this system.
The system helps with the three most important parts of a fair and successful voting process:
Eligible voters can register in the system by providing their biometric information. The BVAS uses fingerprint scanning as well as facial recognition technology to identify each voter. They will generate a unique code against that biometric data. This data, along with other detailed information like the name, gender, age, etc., will then be stored in the system for future usage.
In 2007, M2SYS worked on a similar project led by the INEC. M2SYS supplied the Nigerian government with 10,000 fingerprint scanners and biometric software to help register more than 20 million of Nigeria’s 71 million voters for their biometric voter registration exercise.
Download the case to learn more about the Nigerian project
Before voting, the voters will have to verify their identity through the bimodal biometric voting system. The system will scan the voter’s fingerprints and face to match them with the voter registration list. Voters will only be able to vote if they have gone through the voter registration process.
Sending Voting Results
With each vote, the results will be sent to the portal for viewing the results in real-time. IREV or INEC result viewing portals will be able to get live updates of the voting results without any possibility of rigging them.
A Biometric Voting System Is Necessary
Nigeria’s case is not rare, as rigging voting results is common among many developing nations. M2SYS Technology has effectively coordinated the deployment of biometric readers and voter registration software at thousands of biometric voter registration stations to help governments around the world establish political legitimacy through biometric voter registration. M2SYS, through its partners, helps governments create fair elections free of fraud and corruption, positioning them as a model of democracy for the entire world.
Download the Yemen case study to learn more about the biometric voting system