2015: Fashola Advocates Electronic Voting

2015: Fashola Advocates Electronic Voting
December 14 06:34 2014 Print This Article

Fashola_fpLagos State Governor, Babatunde Fashola, has again advocated the use of electronic voting system for elections in the country, saying it would not only save Nigerians the stress experienced every four years in the voting process, but would also save the nation huge costs.

Fashola, who fielded questions from newsmen after a presentation and a mock voting process to demonstrate the effectiveness of the electronic voting machine by an Indian firm at the Banquet Hall of the Lagos House, Marina, said the process would also encourage more participation by Nigerians who are apathetic about voting due to the rigours involved.

The governor, who invited the Indian company, Bharat Electronics Limited, explained that he decided to invite them to Nigeria after he visited the Electoral Commission of India, where the system has been successfully used over the years, adding that if the commission could conduct elections successfully for over 800 million Indian voters with the use of the machine, it was possible that the present electoral problems of Nigeria, with 170 million population, would be solved.

He said, “I went to India to participate in an Urban Development Conference and it coincided with the period we were having some challenges with the distribution of permanent voters’ cards in Lagos. So I took off time to visit the Electoral Commission of India just to see how it works for them because I felt that if they were having it easy with a population thrice as large as ours, then we need to learn from them.

“I started working on how to bring the company that manufactures the machines here, getting visas from the High Commission for them to come here. Now they are here to show Nigerians that it is not rocket science. It is now left for us to find the will to do things better. I even believe these machines could be made here if we put our scientists to task to solve our problems.

Fashola said the decision to use the EVM in the next elections was for Nigerians to decide but added, “It makes sense because if we are going digital in all other things and processes, why are we afraid to use the EVM? Almost everything we do now is electronic, so why should the issue of use of EVM be a point of discussion. The fact is that automation improves efficiency.”

Fashola claimed that his purpose of bringing the firm to Lagos was to show Nigerians how simple the EVM is.

“The truth is that when I saw this thing, it looked so simple and it made sense. Before, I used to think it was such a complex thing. People are sometimes afraid of what they do not understand. So I said, maybe some people who resist this thing resist it because it is something they can’t visually connect.

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