February 28, 2024

The Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) has announced that it will adopt a manual mode of collation for the 2023 general elections.

Despite the adoption of electronic transmission of results, INEC said election results will be collated manually in 2023.

INEC’s National Commissioner and Chairman of its Information and Voter Education Committee, Festus Okoye, revealed this to The Punch during an interview on Saturday, August 20, 2022.

Okoye said that the commission would still stick to electronic transmission of results from polling units to its result-viewing portal, IReV, as witnessed in the recent elections.

He also explained that the new Electoral Act has defined how collation should be done.

“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.

“Section 60(5) of the Act makes it mandatory that the presiding officer shall transfer the results, including the 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, were 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 is correct and consistent with the number of accredited voters recorded and transmitted directly from polling units.”

The commissioner explained that while the results collation would be done manually, where there was a dispute regarding a collated result or the result from any polling unit, the collation or returning officer would use the original of the disputed collated result, accreditation data from the BVAS device and the results transmitted directly from the polling unit to determine the correctness of the result”, he concluded.

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