Yiaga Africa has urged the National Assembly to amend the 2022 Electoral Act to allow for early voting by people rendering essential services to promote inclusivity.
The Executive Director of Yiaga Africa, Samson Itodo, said this yesterday in Abuja during the unveiling of its report on the Election Study and Observation Mission (ESOM) to the Liberia 2023 General Elections tagged: “Liberia 2023 Elections and Lessons for Nigeria”.
He said that political stakeholders should demonstrate a firm commitment to democracy and nation-building by upholding national values such as patriotism, integrity and public interest in electoral politics.
While suggesting that pictures of candidates participating in every election should be displayed on the ballot paper, Itodo said, “INEC should review the format of ballot papers used in Nigeria elections to include photographs and names of candidates to improve the quality of electoral preferences and reduce invalidated votes.
“INEC and state electoral commissions should also commit to greater transparency in election administration through proactive disclosure of election information and consistent application of election rules and guidelines.
“The National Assembly and INEC should amend the Electoral Act and INEC Guidelines to introduce early voting to allow eligible voters on essential election duties, such as security personnel, INEC staff, election observers, journalists, to vote at elections.
“The National Assembly should review the Electoral Act to address the ambiguities in the results collation and transmission process and the role of technology in the results management value chain.”
He also urged the lawmakers to strengthen the electoral law to make electronic transmission of results mandatory, including the uploading of polling unit-level results and result sheets used at different levels of collation.