SMART CARD READER AND ELECTION CREDIBILITY IN NIGERIA’S FOURTH REPUBLIC
Keywords:smart card reader, election, fraud, credibility
This article examines the efficacy of the smart card reader with a view to underscoring its strategic implications for free, fair and credible election in Nigeria’s Fourth Republic. Elections in Nigeria were conducted manually and it was marred by rigging, fraud and violence but the introduction of the smart card reader by the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) has helped in reducing electoral malpractice which further reinforced public confidence in the electoral process. The paper uses qualitative data from secondary sources to clarify key issues such as the smart card reader, election both as a concept and as a model. The study also discovered that though they were challenges that confronted the operation of some of the smart card readers such as incomplete or non-verification of voters fingerprints even after their permanent voters cards were adjudged valid, slow accreditation procedure because of poor internet services in some areas among others, the study recommends adequate training of the ad hoc staff by experts, provision of electoral logistics and the need to reform electoral laws in line with the trending technology of the smart card reader thereby guaranteeing our democracy.
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