Exploring the Use of Biometric Smart Cards for Voters’ Accreditation: A Case Study of Nigeria Electoral Process
Voting remains an integral component of every democratic electoral process. it is an avenue for citizens to exercise their rights in order to elect those who will lead them in various vacant political offices. However, enhancing voters’ trust and confidence in electoral processes are significant factors that could encourage the active participation of citizens in elections. Eligible voters tend to decline to participate in an election when they have a feeling that their votes may not eventually count. Furthermore, electoral processes that lead to the emergence of candidates must be adjudged to be free, fair and credible to a high degree for the result to be widely acceptable. Unacceptable election results could lead to protests and total cancelation of the election thereby resulting in loss of time and resources invested in it. To ensure that only registered voters cast their votes on election days, measures must be put in place to accredit voters on election days effectively. Therefore, this article explores the use of biometric smart cards for voters’ verification and identification. With the Nigerian electoral process in view, the existing Nigerian voting procedure was reviewed, lapses were identified and solutions based on the use of the biometric smart card were proffered. If adopted, the proposed adoption of biometric smart cards for voters’ accreditation will enhance the country’s electoral process thereby ensuring that only registered voters cast their votes. The approach presented could also reduce the number of electoral processes and personnel required during election days, thus reducing voting time and cost.
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