The Independent National Electoral Commission, INEC, says the use of Bimodal Voter Accreditation System, BVAS, in the 2023 general elections, was irreversible.
The Commission also said that it’s policy of “No PVC, No Voting” would continue to subsist even as it urged registered voters Including people with disabilities((PWD) to collect their PVCs to vote in the general elections and other elections.
The electoral umpire assured that it would continue to explore the use of technology such as BVAS in upcoming elections.
In furtherance of efforts to ensure free, fair, and credible elections, the Commission continues to explore the use of technology in our elections.
One of such innovation in preparation for the 2023 general election is the replacement of the SCR with the Bimodal Voter Accreditation System (BVAS) to improve and strengthen the voter verification, authentication and accreditation process.
The use of the BVAS for voter accreditation and authentication is irreversible and backed by lNEC.
The Bimodal Voter Accreditation System (BVAS) and INEC Election Result Viewing Portal (IReV) are two technological innovations celebrated for enhancing the transparency of election results and boosting public trust in electoral outcomes in recent elections.
INEC asserts that these technologies are addressing the ten most pervasive weaknesses in Nigeria’s election result management process which include falsification of votes at polling units, falsification of number of accredited voters, collation of false results, mutilation of results and computational errors, swapping of results sheets, forging of results sheets, snatching and destruction of results sheets, obtaining declaration and return involuntarily, making declaration and return while result collation is still in progress and poor record keeping.
Both tools perform mutually reinforcing and critical functions in elections.
The BVAS is a technological device used to identify and accredit voters’ fingerprints and facial recognition before voting.
The device is also used for capturing images of the polling unit result sheet (Form EC8A) and uploading the image of the result sheet online.
IReV is an online portal where polling unit level results are uploaded directly from the polling unit, transmitted, and published for the public.
At the front end of the online portal, members of the public can create personal accounts with which they can gain access to all uploaded results stored as PDF files. This accessibility of polling unit level results increases transparency and public trust in the process.
Despite improving public confidence in electoral outcomes, the introduction of BVAS and IReV is anathema to political actors determined to subvert the people’s will at all costs.
It is, therefore, not surprising to learn of alleged attempts to torpedo INEC plans to safeguard the integrity of the election using the BVAS and IReV.
A case in point is the petition instituted in the Imo State High court seeking a restraining order against INEC to suspend the deployment of the BVAS for the general election.
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