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The Independent National Electoral Commission, INEC, has said that the results of the 2023 general elections will be collated manually despite the introduction of electronic transmission of results.
According to Festus Okoye, INEC National Commissioner and Chairman of Information and Voter Education Committee, the commission would still transmit results from polling units to its result-viewing portal, IRev, as seen in recent polls but the Electoral Act has provision for the method of collation.
He disclosed this during an interview with Punch on Saturday.
Okoye said, “There is a marked difference between the transfer/transmission of results and the collation of results. Section 50(2) of the Electoral Act, 2022 gives the commission the absolute discretion to determine the mode and procedure of voting in an election and the transmission of election results.
“Sections 60 and 62 of the Electoral Act govern post-election procedure and collation of election results. Section 60(1) of the Act provides that the presiding officer shall, after counting the votes at a polling unit, enter the votes scored by each candidate in a form to be prescribed by the commission.
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“Section 60(5) of the Act makes it mandatory that the presiding officer shall transfer the results, including total number of accredited voters and the results of the ballot in a manner prescribed by the commission. Thereafter, the presiding officer shall after recording and announcing the results deliver the same along with election materials under security and accompanied by the candidates or their polling agents, where available to such person as may be prescribed by the commission.
“The implication of this is that the collation process of results is still essentially manual, but the collation officer must collate subject to his verification and confirmation that the number of accredited voters stated on the collated result are correct and consistent with the number of accredited voters recorded and transmitted directly from polling units.”