Journalism of Courage

Senate Passes Electoral Act Amendment Bill, Approves Electronic Transmission Of Poll Results

Many in Nigeria say the electronic transmission of poll results is a welcome development and long over due.

By Ajuma Edwina Ameh
The Senate has passed the Electoral Act Amendment Bill and also approved the electronic transmission of poll results.
The approval which was given when the lawmakers resumed plenary on Tuesday, after a three-week recess, was also harmonized by the House Of Representatives, thereby completing the process of amending the Electoral Act Amendment Bill.
In line with customary legislative procedures, the two chambers had in September set up Conference Committees to reconcile disparity in the versions of the bill as passed by both chambers of the National Assembly, recalls.
Many in Nigeria say the electronic transmission of poll results is a welcome development and long over due.
Also, On October 12, the Senate had given the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), the sole power to determine the mode of transmission of results.
This followed the reversal of its earlier decision that the electoral body may consider the electronic transmission of results, “provided national (network) coverage is adjudged to be adequate and secure” by the Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC).
Under the new amendment of Clause 52 (2) of the Electoral Act Amendment Bill, the Senate resolved that “voting at an election and transmission of results under this Bill shall be in accordance with the procedure determined by the Commission, which may include electronic voting”.
Moving the motion, the Senate leader, Yahaya Abdullahi, said the bill when assented to by the President would regulate the conduct of Federal, State and Area Councils in the Federal Capital Territory Elections.
He said: “It is imperative to point out that with the successful harmonization of this bill, a process that started from the 7th Assembly through to the 8th National Assembly has now been completed by the 9th National Assembly.
“The bill is now ready for passage and Presidential assent.
“I am happy to state that most of what we call ‘citizens top priorities’ on the Electoral Act Amendment, including the use of technology have been addressed by the Electoral Bill, 2021.”
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