This Saturday, about 93 million registered Nigerian voters will head to the polls to elect a president and 469 federal legislators. Nigeria's amended Electoral Act 2022 provides legal backing for the electronic accreditation of voters and the transmission and collation of results.
Over 146,000 domestic and international observers have been accredited to monitor the elections across the country's 774 local government areas. With the aforementioned legal backing for a technology-driven election, the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) has launched an Election Result Viewing Portal (IReV).
Historically, Nigeria’s voter turnout has been on the low side. In 2019, the turnout was only 36%, indicating that many Nigerians did not engage in selecting their political leaders. Many governorship elections recorded a turnout of 20% or less, with off-cycle elections like the Anambra gubernatorial elections in 2021 and the Lagos East Senate by-election in 2020 coming down as low as 10%.
However, recent polling data and campaign momentum suggest that voter turnout could be higher in this election, Paul James, Head of Elections Projects at Yiaga Africa, believes that the introduction of technology is a factor in the increased turnout that will be experienced this year.
With access to real-time election data, civic participation will also increase. Aside from IReV, notable civil society organisations and media outlets have also launched election viewing portals.
In November 2022, pan-African data and intelligence company, Stears has launched a data product; Stears Elections, an open data project designed to organise all of Nigeria's election data.
From election observers who want first to objectively monitor election dynamics to the Nigerian electorate —all 94 million of them— Stears Elections is a valuable data & insights tool. With young people making up over 71% of the 12 million newly printed PVCs, there is an unprecedented information gap that Stears Elections will fill.
Civic Hive 2023 Election Results Portal
Civic Hive, the innovation centre of BudgIT, a leading Nigeria-based civic-tech company also launched an election results portal. The portal also provides insights into manifestos and profiles of candidates, as well as an interactive election map.
"With our Election Map, our aim is to make information about previous and present election data accessible to every citizen in a simplified and presentable way. Our overarching aim is for voters to have access to information that enables them to be educated and informed," reads a caption on the website.
Dataphyte Elections Portal
Nigeria-based data journalism outlet, Dataphyte has launched DEP—Dataphyte Elections Portal, which it claims to be the "largest repository of election data in Nigeria".
"From incidence tracking to results across all 774 local governments, DEP is a one-stop shop for elections data from national elections to elections at the subnational level from the governorship to state houses of assemblies," Dataphyte stated.
UZABE by Connected Development
UZABE is a deployment of Connected Development (CODE) for her observation of the 2023 General Election in Nigeria. The platform is an Open Situation Awareness Room (OSAR) initiative that will provide real-time intelligence, mapping tools and witness reports from CODE's 20,000 trained observers spread across various polling units in Nigeria.
Editor's Note: Is there any other election monitoring tool that we omitted? Contact the reporter via johnstone[at]benjamindada[dot]com