The Senate yesterday amended the 2010 Electoral Act with the inclusion of electronic voting and smart card reader for the conduct of elections in the country.
The new Electoral Act was passed during plenary session presided over by Senate President Bukola Saraki.
The Senate added a new clause to section 52 of the Principal Act, stating, “The Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) shall adopt electronic voting in all elections or any other method of voting as may be determined by the Commission from time to time.”
Senate said, “The amendment mandates e-voting without ambiguity but also give the commission discretion to use other methods, if it is impracticable to use e-voting in any election”.
On smart card reader, Senate substituted section 49 of the Principal Act with, “The presiding officer shall use a smart card reader or any other technological device that may be prescribed by the Commission from time to time for the accreditation of voters, to verify, confirm or authenticate.”
The Senate stripped the president and governors of the control of party primaries by removing political appointees as delegates.
It also pegged nomination fee for Presidential, governorship, senatorial and House of Reps aspirants at N10 million, N5 million, N2 million and N1 million respectively. These are contained in the new provision in Section 87 of the Principal Act.
The Senate also inserted a new subsection to section 19 of the Principal Act to compel INEC to display copy of voters’ register for each local government, Area Council or Ward at every registration area and on its official website.