Youth Voters, Card Readers and Revoda - O.S.A. Aluko

February 3, 2015

INEC’s intention to put card readers to use in the forthcoming elections is in fact a tech-driven and innovative problem-solving approach. This further re-enforces the hope that each vote cast will represent an eligible voter.

As the cards have been introduced, the period for accreditation has been extended for 1 hour (now 8am to 1pm rather than 8am to 12pm) while voting will be from 1pm to 6pm. 145,000 card readers will be put to use across 119,973 polling units nationwide, hence making available just 25,027 back up card readers available. This means that only 20% of polling units will have back up card readers.

Batteries in the card reader are said to last up to 10 hours when fully charged, still, back-up batteries will be made available at each polling unit. At least this information deals with power issues, however, will this process essentially lead to voter satisfaction?

At the INEC Youth Summit in January 2015, an INEC staff showcased a practical use of the card reader. According to those present, the time taken for the process per person was at least 3 minutes. As a result, with just about 1 card reader in use at most polling units, just about 20 people might be registered within 1 hour.

Now let’s fast forward to Election Day when accreditation is supposed to last for 5 hours. By 1pm, will we have just 100 people accredited in most polling units? What will happen to the remaining 400 people lined up to vote?

The success of the forthcoming elections definitely lies on the shoulders of the electorates, especially the youths. The need to protect votes and maintain peace in the most civil of ways can be met by this demography. With access to mobile phones, relevant reports can be made and prove to be evidence of claims later in the court.

A perfect tool for use is Revoda, a mobile app with the purpose of making voting social. With ReVoDa, EiENigeria seeks to potentially turn the 100 million+ Nigerians with mobile phones, 45 million+ with internet access and 4.6 million+ on Facebook into informal election observers.

Currently, over 1000 registered youths are ready to help observe the forthcoming elections. Obviously, more need to join in order to cover all 120,000 polling units nationwide. Using ReVoDa Mobile is easy, and it starts with the download which you can do here. Choose the version you prefer between ReVoDa Lite (for regular phones) and ReVoDa Smart (for smart phones)

@revodang @ngshineyoureye