The Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) has emphasized that its Results Viewing Portal is intended to enhance the transparency of elections and not to serve as a system for result collation or transmission. This clarification came from INEC’s Director of ICT, Paul Omokore, during a presentation at a two-day capacity workshop for journalists in Nasarawa State.
Omokore highlighted that the INEC Bimodal Voter Accreditation System (BVAS) is primarily used to upload pictures of polling unit (PU) results onto Form EC8A, which is then displayed on the INEC Result Viewing Portal (IReV) for public viewing. It’s crucial to note that this process does not involve the electronic transmission of results or their collation.
Explaining further, he said, “Form EC8A is the result that we collated at the PUs. We use BVAS to snap this form and upload the same thing to the IReV portal for public viewing. This is not a collation system. It does not tally a system. What it does is to snap the EC8A, which is the result at the polling unit, and upload the same to the public view. That is all.”
Omokore aimed to clarify the misconception that the portal is used for collating results, emphasizing that it’s a tool to enhance transparency and allow the public to access and verify the results from PUs. He pointed out that the traditional method of manually transmitting results from PUs to collation centers remains in place.
He also underlined that technology has been an effective tool for ensuring free, fair, and credible elections, and INEC is working to address any challenges that arise.
Ezenwa Nwagwu, Chairman of Partners for Electoral Reform, addressed the journalists during the workshop. In his lecture titled “Ethical Dilemma in Election Reporting: Navigating Bias, Balance and Promoting Transparency,” he stressed the importance of accurate and transparent reporting in election coverage. Nwagwu highlighted that accurate and unbiased reporting is the antidote to fake news and emphasized that it is the media’s responsibility to ensure transparency in the electoral process.
He encouraged journalists to maintain their independence and accuracy in reporting, investigate the motivations behind biased news, and align their coverage with the provisions of the law. Ultimately, transparent and unbiased reporting is crucial for fostering trust in the electoral process and ensuring the integrity of elections.
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