Mr. Turaki Hassan, the Special Assistant to the Speaker of Nigeria’s House of Representatives has said that the House is about to adopt an electronic voting system, Thisday reports. At the moment, voting in the House is done via a primitive “all in support say aye, all who are against, say nay” paradigm, which is as opaque as opaque gets, and is generally a very inefficient way to do things.
The result is that Legislators get voted into office and go berserk, safe in the knowledge that their constituents do not know their positions on key issue like gender parity, internet freedom and the like, and so, cannot hold them accountable. There have been calls from individuals and organisations like BudgIT for the National Assembly to get with the times, and #OpenNASS, and it’s good to see some progress – however little – in that direction.
@BudgITng The first transparency I want is electronic voting on national issues so we know what each senator votes/stands for. Not Yea & Nay
— Maami (@mfat2011) October 10, 2015
— BudgIT Nigeria (@BudgITng) January 27, 2016
But knowing my country, I wouldn’t be surprised one bit if a bloated contract is awarded for the e-parliament – as they’ve described it – and a few months later, we start hearing excuses like “the server is down“, when a request is made for their voting data. E-Voting, achieved. Next stop, slash senate salaries.