Smart card reader 2015 General Elections in Nigeria

A central issue in the 2015 general elections in Nigeria was the use of the smart
card reader, which was a critical component in the election. It was used for the
first time in the electoral process of Nigeria and it remains one of the greatest
technological innovations of the 2015 general elections. The smart card reader
is a technological device set up to authenticate and verify, on election day, a
permanent voter card issued by the Independent National Electoral Commission.
The fundamental basis for deploying the technological device was to ensure
a credible, transparent, free and fair election and thereby to deepen Nigeria’s
democracy. However, the use of the card reader generated debate among election
stakeholders before, during and after the 2015 general elections. One such debate
was the legality of the use of the device. In this paper I examine the debate and the
role of the card reader in the elections. I also consider the challenges and impact of
the card reader on the election. Considering the massive electoral fraud witnessed
in general elections since Nigeria’s independence, I conclude that the smart card
reader should be used for future elections. General elections in Nigeria should
continue to be technologically managed.

File Type: pdf
Categories: Journal of African Elections
Tags: democracy, election technology, electoral fraud, permanent voter card
journal of african elections vol15 number 2 transparent democratic governance in africa