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Electronic transmission of result: The proposed process Vs reality with IReV

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The use of the Bimodal Voter Accreditation System (BVAS) for the electronic transmission/upload of election results was a major technological advancement introduced by the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC). However, the innovation received mixed reactions, including people debating INEC’s right to transmit election results electronically. Despite concerns about how the BVAS would work and the possibility of failure, which led to calls for it not to be used, the commission insisted on its use. 

Before the election, DUBAWA published an article on technological innovations, including details of the Nigerian electoral process and the use of BVAS. This article highlights the proposed function of the BVAS by INEC for result transmission and what the reality has been so far in the ongoing general election. 

Why electoral transmission of results?

One of the major issues noticed in past elections is the irregularities between the Polling Units (PUs) after the announcement of results and the point of result collation. Sometimes results are hijacked, exchanged, or even destroyed at the PU or on the way to the collation centres. This necessitated the commission to find a solution which was the application of technology to the transmission of results from PUs. 

The real-time publishing of polling unit-level results on INEC’s Result Viewing Portal (IReV), according to the commission, is backed by Sections 47(2), 60(1, 2 & 5), 64(4a & 4b) and 64(5) of the Electoral Act 2022. These sections confer INEC with the power to transmit election results electronically. The purpose is to minimise human errors and delays in results collation and improve the accuracy, transparency, and credibility of the results collation process.

Online transmission of result 

To use the BVAS to upload election results in the officials are to scan/photograph it, and upload the PU election result where there is a network. To do this, the Polling Officer (PO) must follow these steps:

  • Launch the Chrome browser on the BVAS homepage.
  • Type the URL (https://iup-uat.inecelectionresults.net) in the browser’s address bar to launch the result portal.
  • Enter the unique login details (username and password) provided for the Polling Unit (PU).
  • Select the election type from the assignments list and click “Upload Result” to display the results transmission.
  • Click the Start Result Upload button on the result transmission page to begin the result upload and display the camera.
  • Read the important notice and agree by checking the Agreement Checkbox and proceed with the upload button. 
  • Click ‘Upload result now’, then select the camera to snap the result from your device and ensure the picture is clear. 
  • Select the “check sign” if the image of the result sheet is unclear to accept or the “X sign” to retake the picture. 
  • The PO should write their name in the Text box “Enter your full name” and Sign in the Text box “Sign in the box below” and proceed to click on the upload result now. 
  • Finally, there is one more chance to ensure the document is correct. If it is correct, the officer must click confirm document or delete it and start all over. 
  • A confirmation page is displayed once the result sheet is successfully uploaded.

Offline transmission of result 

To transmit results offline, the PO will need to change the network channel by switching to any of the backup endpoints. To do this, the PO will go to network settings and select the backup network endpoint he/she wishes to use.

Below is a breakdown of how to upload results offline. 

  • Click the menu (three dots on the top right).
  • Select “work offline” to open the offline login page. The offline login page enables login in offline mode (without internet connectivity).
  • Enter your username and password to log in to the portal offline.

The reality of electoral transmission of result

While this process highlighted above looks simple and easy to carry out, reports from the field show it was not an entirely seamless process across the country. From network to power issues, prolonged voting hours and other challenges have delayed result upload in some PUs. 

According to reports received by observers and reporters affiliated with the Centre for Journalism Innovation and Development (CJID) the issues include power, network and outright inability to upload results using the machine. 

According to Yiaga Africa, watching the preliminary election report, in 83% of PUs, the PO used the BVAS to scan or take a snapshot of the results sheet (Form EC 8A). In comparison, in 69% of polling units, the PO attempted to send the polling unit result image to the INEC’s online database (IReV). In its situation report, connected Development (CODE) also noted issues with the functionality of BVAS.

Electorates have taken to social media to express concern about the electronic transmission of results. They query why the network issue arises when INEC is said to have allowed uploading results offline. 

There have also been concerns about the format of results uploaded on the IReV platform. While some complained about poor images uploaded, some others complained that the uploaded results were different from what was declared at polling units.

One interesting case is that which happened in a polling unit with code 13/01/02/001 under Ado ‘B’ Inisa Ward/RA in Ado Ekiti local government area, where the face of a lady was uploaded instead of the result sheet.

Electronic transmission of results has also continued to cause controversies at the national collation centre, where party agents question INEC’s transparency in the results transmission process.

A study of INEC’s 2023 election manual used to train ad-hoc staff for the election shows the format of results uploaded so far is correct (a scan or snapshot of the result sheet).

Although INEC has assured the populace that the result viewing portal is secured and outstanding issues will be resolved, many unanswered questions remain. We contacted the commission’s Chairman, Information and Voter Education Committee, Festus Okoye, via calls and text messages for more clarification on the specific issues around result upload but got no response. 

INEC Result Viewing Portal (IReV)

After completing the result upload process, the public can view the result via the IReV Portal.

To access the IReV portal, a user needs to follow these steps

  • Launch browser, 
  • Enter the Url (https://www.inecelectionresults.ng/elections/types).
  • Click on Create New Account and provide the required details. 
  • Once an account is created, enter your email address and password.
  • Click on login. 
  • Once logged in, click on the election type and select the election date.
  • Find the state you are interested in and click on it.
  • Find the Local Government Area (LGA) you are interested in and click on it.
  • Find the Ward or Registration Area (RA) you are interested in and click on it.
  • Find the Polling Unit (PU) you are interested in and click on it to view the result.

NOTE: This portal is accessible by the public from anywhere, provided the user has internet access. However, a user account needs to be created by users to access the uploaded contents on the portal.

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