INVESTIGATING THE IMPACT OF PERMANENT VOTER CARDS IN REDUCING ELECTION RIGGING IN NIGERIA
Electoral processes in Nigeria are susceptible to different types of rigging. The Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) came up with some innovative measures in 2011 and 2015 to reduce rigging including the introduction of permanent voters cards (PVCs) and card readers. This study uses data flow diagrams, as well as sensitivity and scenario analyses to analyze how various factors and variables result in rigging during elections. An overview of data flow diagrams (DFDs) is given to illustrate their effectiveness in describing systems. The electoral processes for 2011 and 2015 are described and compared, and special DFDs are designed to model the two slightly different systems. With the help of these special DFDs, the mathematical relationships that connect these different components of rigging are worked out and these are used to create a template using SaSAT, a sampling and sensitivity analysis tool, that is used in estimating the final results of a hypothetical election exercise between two candidates based on some assumed variables. Using this tool, the relative impact of the various variables and moderating factors on electoral rigging are investigated. This leads to a detailed analysis on the extent to which the use of the PVCs and card readers can actually reduce such rigging during electoral processes. The results suggest that the introduction of PVCs and card readers reduces the level of rigging during the accreditation exercise but the other forms of rigging during registration, voting and vote counting can still substantially modify the results.
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