Senate Plans To Make Law Seeking Electronic Transmission Of Results Mandatory

In preparation for the 2027 elections, the Senate is poised to modify the Electoral Act, primarily to permit diaspora voting, especially for presidential elections. This change aims to facilitate the participation of citizens, particularly those serving abroad in essential capacities.

During a retreat held in Ikot Ikpene, Akwa-Ibom State, the Senate issued a statement outlining its decisions. Among these resolutions is the mandatory implementation of electronic result transmission in the upcoming 2027 general elections. This will encompass the uploading of polling unit-level results and the result sheets utilized at various stages of result collation.

The backdrop for these changes includes the clamor for the inclusion of Nigerians living abroad in the electoral process, which was particularly pronounced in the lead-up to President Bola Tinubu’s election. Additionally, there has been a significant demand for the adoption of electronic result transmission through the BVAS machine.

Recognizing the need for greater efficiency and effectiveness in election preparation and execution, the Senate has also highlighted the importance of unbundling the Independent National Electoral Commission. This move is intended to enhance the commission’s capabilities and performance in managing elections.

The communiqué stated, “Relating to the use of technology in elections, remove the ambiguity evident in Section 64 of the EA22. Also, make electronic transmission of results mandatory from the next general elections in 2027, including the uploading of polling unit-level results and result sheets used at different levels of result collation.

“Introduce diaspora voting, at least for presidential elections, to enable citizens to vote, especially those on essential service abroad, such as military, paramilitary, and other security personnel abroad, Embassy staff, and other citizens.

“Relating to political parties; stipulate sanctions for failure to submit the register of party members not later than 30 days before the date of party primaries, congresses, or conventions in relation to Section 77(3) EA22, which the political parties have observed in the breach in the 2023 elections without penalty.”

The 10th Senate further noted that it was time to develop and enact a comprehensive national security strategy that outlines the nation’s security objectives, threats, and policy priorities.

The Red Chamber added that such a strategy could serve as a guiding framework for legislative action in the security sector.