16 Mar 2015
P.V.C's and the 2015 Elections.
Technology is finally coming to play in the Nigerian electoral process.
Since Nigeria attained democratic governance in 1999 the legitimacy of all subsequent governments have been marred by accusations and evidence of electoral mal-practice. The process of allowing the electorate (which comprises all people of voting age) the right to participate in the process of choosing their leaders is a cardinal cardinal tenet of democracy. With every election the process has slowly been fine tuned with the supervision of external observers and the support of the United Nations and the federal government. For the 2015 elections the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) received 120 billion Naira. Though recently, there are concerns as more than half of the budget isn't released yet, the body has forged ahead under the command of Alhaji Attahiru Jega and made some remarkable progress.
As part of its plan to improve the transparency and accountability of the electoral process, the INEC Chairman, Alhaji Attahiru Jega in collusion with the federal government and international bodies have moved to make the actual voting process largely digital with the use of a Biometric Personal Voter's Card and a Personal Voter's Card Reader.
What is a biometric PVC, you ask?
A biometric Personal Voter's Card is a plastic card much like an ATM that stores personal data of the voter in question on a tiny microchip embedded into the card. The perk of a biometric card is that accessing a voter's information is only a click away, and the information can be updated remotely. With biometric cards there is almost no risk of falsification of the voter's details or even impersonation. A biometric PVC can last up to ten years before it is replaced and can be updated without having to give the voter a new card. It heralded a new age where the Nigerian voter could live their lives fully without fear of disenfranchisement.
But then there were a number of worries around the biometric PVC's. Most biometric cards require complicated computers with special readers to enable them be used, how was this going to translate in Nigeria, a country with epileptic power supply and a blatant lack of security?
Mobile P.V.C Readers.
Mobile Personal Voters Card Readers, like Point Of Service (POS) readers are smart devices equipped to adequately read, interpret and display the data on the PVC microchips. With a twenty hour battery and a back up battery, the PVC Reader is geared to improve the integrity of the coming 2015 elections and ease the process of voting. For further information, here's an infographic explaining the efficiency of the PVC readers.
We don't know how the miscellaneous factors on ground will affect the efficiency of PVC use in the coming elections but we at 9jEducation, avid supporters and promoters of embracing technology to ease daily life are happy about this development and will watch closely.