INEC Chairman Reinforces Ban on Smartphones in Voting Cubicles to Ensure Fair and Transparent Elections. (2023Elections)

24 Jan 2023

The Chairman of the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), Mahmood Yakubu, recently addressed concerns about the use of smartphones in voting cubicles during the upcoming general elections. During a session at Chatham House, Yakubu emphasized INEC's ban on the use of smartphones at voting stations.
This ban was put in place to combat vote buying, a practice in which individuals are paid to vote for a certain candidate or party. In the past, vote buyers would wait outside of voting cubicles and ask voters to show them their marked ballot papers as proof of their vote. To combat this, INEC decided to bring the ballot boxes closer to the voting cubicles, reducing the amount of time voters had to show their marked papers to vote buyers.
However, this change also led to an increase in the use of smartphones to photograph marked ballot papers. To combat this, INEC banned the use of all photographic devices, including smartphones, in voting cubicles.
In December, Yakubu reminded the public of the ban, saying "Let me seize this opportunity to remind the public that the ban on cellphones at voting cubicles is still in force. We have for some time now reorganized our polling units so that ballot boxes are placed next to the voting cubicles to forestall the practice of unscrupulous voters showing their marked ballot papers to vote-buyers."
By banning smartphones in voting cubicles, INEC hopes to ensure a fair and transparent election process, free from vote buying and other forms of electoral misconduct.

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