DESIGN AND IMPLEMENTATION OF A WEB BASED VOTERS REGISTRATION SYSTEM

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DESIGN AND IMPLEMENTATION OF A WEB BASED VOTERS REGISTRATION SYSTEM

 

CHAPTER ONE

INTRODUCTION

1.1 Background of the Study

States across the country are increasingly adopting online voter registration to reduce costs, enhance government efficiency, and build more complete and accurate voter lists. This expansion has yielded a diverse and growing collection of best practices and problem-solving strategies for electronic systems and their implementation. This work intends to present a web based voters registration system.

The independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) origin can be traced back to the period before independence when the Electoral commission of Nigeria was established to conduct the 1959 elections. The Federal Electoral Commission (FEC), established in 1960 conducted the immediate post-independence federal and regional elections of 1964 and 1965. The electoral body was dissolved after the military coup of 1966. In 1978, the federal electoral commission was constituted by the regime of General Olusegun Obasanjo, organizing the elections of 1979 which ushered in the Nigerian second Republic under the leadership of Alhaji Shehu Shagari. It also conducted the general elections of 1983 (David, 2006).

In December 1995, the military Government elections of General Sani Abacha established the Electoral Commission of Nigeria (NECON) which conducted another set of elections. These elected institutions were not inaugurated before the sudden death of General Abacha on June 1998 aborted the process. The electoral commission of Nigeria (NECON) was in 1998 dissolved by the then Head of State General Abdulsalani Abukakar’s administration who then established the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC). INEC organized the transitional elections in 1999 that ushered in the Nigerian fourth Republic

Establishment of state independent Electoral commissions (SIECs) was provided for by the 1999 constitution of the federal Republic of Nigeria, which states in section 197(1) “there shall be established for each state of the federation , the state independent Electoral Commission who composition and power are set out in part II of the third schedule to this constitution”. It is therefore in line with this constitutional provision that the Rivers State House in may 2000, established the Rivers State Independent Electoral Commission (RSIEC) and the commission have successfully conducted two states elections for Local Government Chairman and Councilors elections. On the 27th of November, 2007, the current board of commissioners where appointed by the Governor of Rivers State, Rt. Hon. Chibuike Rotimi Amaechi. This present commissioners have Professor Nimi D. Briggs, OON as the chairman and chief electoral commissioner. The commission on the 11thJanuary, 2008 presented their electoral guidelines alone side the code of conduct. According to the Law, section 5 (c) of the RSIEC Law No. 2 of 2001 as amended by RSIEC law No. 6 of 2007 outlined the functions of the commission as follows (Anderson, 2008).

1.     To organize, undertake and supervise all elections to Local Government and Councils within the state

2.     To render some advice as it may consider necessary to the Independent National Electoral Commission on the compilation of the register of voters.

3.     To provide guidelines to political parties stipulating the rules and procedure for electioneering campaigns for Local Government election.

4.     To appoint, Train and Assign ad-hoc staff in staff in each polling unit to assist with the taking of the poll.

5.     To conduct and supervise all parties primaries and referenda within the state.

6.     To ensure that the dates, times and places of public election and referenda are fixed and that they are publicized and that elections are held accordingly within the state.

7.     To announce the result of all elections within the state.

1.2 Statement of Problem

Lack of credible voters register has been widely criticized by Nigerians as the curse of electoral lapses in the electoral system. The voters register is been organized by the Independent National Electoral Commission which is the National body. The State Independent Electoral Commission must depend on INEC for their voters register. These denials the state independent electoral commission the opportunity to manage their voters registers. In most cases, states have to wait for INEC to provide the voters register before they can conduct state elections. This constitutes a big problem to conducting a free and fair election at state levels. The register of voters as provided by independent National Electoral Commission was deficient in several respects (Hardy, 2014).

1.     Some units did not have the name of any voter on the register (the so-called zero units) and yet there were people in those units who had authentic voter’s card.

2.     Many persons who turned up with authentic voter’s cards did not have their names on the register of voters.

3.     Names of voters were swapped between units and wards that were unrelated.

4.     Missing photography’s and mismatch of photographs with the names on the register.

1.3 Aims and Objectives of the Study

The main aim of this study is to design and implement an electronic voter’s registration system for credible elections within state levels.

 Therefore, the specific objectives are as follow;

1. To develop a system that will carryout basic information/management functions of  voter registration database (VRD).

2. To implement an electronic device that will add up individuals to the list and maintaining the list during voting period.

3. To design a system that will source data for poll books (list of eligible voters in localities for use at polling units).

4. To develop software for state voter registration systems that assists local election officials in conducting elections.

1.4 Scope of the Study

This research work is centered on design and implementation of voters registration system. The scope will focus on State Independent Electoral Commission (SIEC) to use electronic device in capturing voter’s information. The design will cover some security issues like capturing the picture of the electorates for validation during election.

1.5  Limitations of the Study

This research work was limited to developing a database for storing state voters register. Therefore, it will not cover national voters register.

Due to time constraint, program developed covers functionality like voter’s cards verification and adding individuals to the list.

1.6 Significance of the Study

The significance of this work cannot be overemphasized. This is because the project work will be of benefits in a good number of ways such as conducting credible elections within the state level. It will also enable the state electoral body to achieve the followings.

1.     Conduct free and fair election within the state

2.     Maintain a state voters register electronically

3.     Determine the voting strength of the state

4.     Eliminate disenfranchising electorates

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