January 31, 2017 -
Nigeria’s Electronic Development Institute (ELDI) has developed a solar-powered electronic voting machine with facial and thumbprint biometric authentication and a cloud-based storage, according to a report by All Africa.
Professor Mohammed Haruna, executive vice chairman of the National Agency for Science and Engineering Infrastructure (NASENI), which supervises ELDI, presented the EVM to Dr. Ogbonnaya Onu, the Minister of Science and Technology.
The e-voting machine includes three identification modes including facial recognition, thumbprint authentication and a card reader.
Haruna said the EVM’s cloud storage capabilities ensures that would-be thieves cannot tamper with voter information if they steal the device.
Once the device receives the voting data, it transmits it to the electoral body’s central electronic database where it can be viewed online.
As a result, all federal, state and local government elections can be completed in a day as it takes 50 to 90 seconds to process each vote for all executive and legislative elections, Haruna said.
The device also addresses the majority of the electoral challenges such as ballot box snatching, multiple thumbprinting, failure of card reader and alteration of data.
The EVM enables voters to monitor election progress and results in real time, while allowing Nigerians in rural areas to vote.
“It also makes provision for diaspora voting and incorporates facial recognition, radio frequency identification device options of voters identification in addition to thumbprint and card reader,” Dr. Onu said. “This is a major contribution to our nation’s growth. It is important that every vote should count. This is what will make democracy very strong and make elections free and fair.”
Dr. Onu recommended that the agency conducts more research into making the handheld machine even smaller, while promising that the ministry would provide funds for further research in the areas of nanotechnology and artificial intelligence.