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Nigeria’s Electoral Commission assures results portal is safe

Nigeria , 27 Feb 2023

Despite technical glitches, Nigeria’s Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) has issued a statement reassuring voters that its results portal has not been compromised.

International media outlets have reported on growing frustration over the delay in transmitting results and issues with access to IReV.

The INEC Results Viewing Portal (IReV) is the official reporting portal where preliminary results of the general elections can be accessed.

“The commission is aware of the challenges with the INEC Results Viewing Portal (IReV),” the electoral body said in a statement. “The Commission wishes to assure Nigerians that the challenges are not due to any intrusion or sabotage of our systems and that the IReV remains well-secured."

In this year’s election, the INEC has employed a Bimodal Voter Accreditation System (BVAS) which scans voters and will also be used to transmit results digitally. Its integrity has also been assured by the electoral body.

The regulator said, “The polling unit copies (election results forms) were issued to political parties, are safe on both the BVAS and the IReV portal. These results cannot be tampered with and any discrepancy between them and the physical results used … will be investigated.”

Technology plays a key role in election monitoring and management in Africa, specifically in terms of registering voters and transmitting results. In Kenya, the 2022 August elections saw the electoral body release digital results to the public portal from over 46,000 polling stations.

Former commissioner of Kenya’s Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission (IEBC) Boya Molu commented on the system hitch in Nigeria as an expected outcome.

“This may be undesirable but it is a normal occurrence in deployments of technology in elections management, particularly with the result transmission system. Kenya was at this stage in 2013 and to some extent in 2017, but got it absolutely right in 2022. However, given that this is a political process, speculation is expected whenever there is a hitch in result transmission.”

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