Wednesday, December 8, 2021

Senate passes long-awaited Electoral Act Amendment Bill into law

THE Senate, on Tuesday, passed the long-awaited Electoral Act Amendment Bill into law.

The upper chamber resumed plenary on Tuesday after a three-week recess and passed the bill after it had, earlier on October 12, acceded to the will of Nigerians and gave the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) the sole power to determine the mode of transmission of results.

Under the new amendment of Clause 52 (2) of the Electoral Act Amendment Bill, the Senate resolved that “voting at an election and transmission of results under this Bill shall be in accordance with the procedure determined by the Commission, which may include electronic voting.”

The Senate previously set up a committee to harmonise the differences with the House Of Representatives, which had earlier passed the bill.

The Electoral Act Amendment Bill has generated a lot of controversy as the National Assembly previously gave part of the powers to determine electoral transmission of votes to the National Communications Commission (NCC).

The INEC is using the Biomodal Voter Accreditation System (BVAS) to capture voters and transmit result via electronic means in the ongoing Anambra State gubernatorial election.

However, it has not been hitch-free, though some success has been recorded. Analysts say the INEC should simply work more on its technology and unveil a better version during the 2023 general elections.

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