Technology has been used for a lot if things and called a lot of names, but no one can deny the huge role it has played in this election. During this election, it has been used for both good and evil.
Here are three ways technology and internet are impacting Nigeria’s election.
Election Monitoring- Local developers have designed mobile apps and websites that can aggregate real-time updates from polling units from across the country; some of them with geo-tagging function to track these updates by location.
Online Conversations and Campaigns- In the past, print, television and radio, remained the major sources of information dissemination in Nigeria, until enormous mobile penetration, data availability and cheap access. Today, social media has become a public place of opinion as internet usage in Nigeria grew by 16% in 2014, making a total of about 37.53% of Nigerians with internet access. Politicians have also joined the growing online community. Political office hopefuls and their supporters have taken to twitter and sent out political messages with hashtags like #GEJ_WINS, #CHANGE e.t.c. As we await the results, one hashtag rules, #Nigeriadecides#
Electronic Smart Card Readers- Hoping to curb electoral irregularities, INEC (Nigeria’s electoral regulatory body) has deployed smart card readers to verify the authenticity of the permanent voters card at the polling booths. The smart card reader doesn’t just authenticate the card, it also allows for the biometric authentication of the legitimacy of the smart card holder, at least in theory. However, these readers failed to work during the elections.
Regardless of who becomes the president, it is obvious that technology, through the use of internet and more, has played an important role in this presidential election and the upcoming governorship election.