Election Rigging and the use of Technology: Smart Card Reader as the Joker in Nigeria’s 2015 Presidential Election

Elections provide the platform for political succession in Nigeria, as
elsewhere. They used to provide an opportunity for fraudulent individuals
and groups to perpetrate acts of rigging against both other contestants and
the electorate. Through no fault of their own stakeholders and the electorate
are sidelined through unbridled rigging, thus losing the election or having
their votes stolen or cancelled. This was the situation until the arrival of
the permanent voter’s cards and the smart card reader. This technological
input in Nigerian electoral space made it extremely difficult for results to
be manipulated, either by anonymous individuals or through arbitrarily
and fraudulently manipulating figures. The transparent application of
this electronic device and its embodied security features make it extremely
difficult to clone or compromise. This paper, therefore, intends to explore the
circumstances that warranted the use of the smart card reader, the polemics
surrounding its use, its performance during the 2015 presidential elections,
as well as its potential for future elections.

File Type: pdf
Categories: Journal of African Elections
Tags: Independent Electoral Commission (INEC), permanent voter’s card (PVC), smart card reader (SCR)
journal of african elections vol15 number 2 transparent democratic governance in africa