INEC CONTINUOUS VOTER REGISTRATION POLL RESULT- About 7 in 10 Adult Nigerians Support Electronic Transmission of Election Results; New Poll Reveals

Abuja, Nigeria. 17th August 2021 – A new public opinion poll conducted by NOIPolls has revealed that 69 percent of adult Nigerians nationwide support the electronic transmission of election results during elections. This assertion cuts across gender, geo-political zones, and age-group with at least 62 percent representation from each category. The reason given by Nigerians are as follows; it will bring about some sort of transparency during elections (26 percent), it is more reliable (24 percent), it will reflect the true result of elections (17 percent), and reduce rigging during elections (12 percent) amongst other reasons.

However, in July 2021, both chambers of Nigeria’s National Assembly passed the electoral amendment act, voting against electronic transmission of election results insisting that the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) does not have the capacity to transmit election results electronically nationwide. On the contrary, INEC, through its National Chairman and Commissioner for Information and Voter Education, Mr. Festus Okoye, dismissed insinuations about the commission’s ability to transmit election results electronically during an interview on Channels television. He further stated that the commission has the capacity for electronic transmission of results from remote areas of the country.[1]

More findings revealed an even split as 50 percent of adult Nigerians acknowledged awareness of the ongoing Continuous Voter Registration (CVR) however, the other half (50 percent) claimed not to be aware. Given this level of awareness, INEC needs to aggressively embark on further awareness campaigns across the country. Analysis by geographical location showed that the Northcentral has more Nigerians (56 percent) who are aware of the exercise whereas, the South East (37 Percent) has the lowest number of Nigerians who are aware of the exercise.

Furthermore, Nigerians were asked about their voter registration status and the poll result revealed that 7 percent of adult Nigerians claimed to have registered since the commencement of the online and physical registration exercise on June 28th and July 26th respectively. According to the 2018 projected adult population by the Nigeria Population Commission, this figure represents about 7.4 million adult Nigerians who claimed to have registered since the commencement of this exercise. The last available data from NEC shows that as of 7 am on Monday 26th July 2021, the number of new registrants had risen to 1,006,661.[2] In addition, the NOIPolls survey finding by age group revealed that the highest proportion of adult Nigerians who claimed to have registered were among those aged 18 – 35 years, representing about 600,000 adult Nigerians between 18 – 35 years who have registered since the commencement of this exercise. This finding corroborates with the figures obtained by INEC from the distribution of registrants which indicated that a higher percentage of those that have so far applied were youths aged between 18 and 34.[3]

It is gratifying to know that 63 percent of adult Nigerians disclosed that they already have their Permeant Voters Card (PVC), 8 percent applied for the transfer of the PVC to their current location, while 5 have their Temporary Voters Card (TVC). Cumulatively, this percentage implies that about 81 million Nigerians have already been identified and included in the voters’ register of INEC. On the flip side, 17 percent of adult Nigerians indicated that they have not registered at all. Analysis by age group revealed that those aged 18 – 35 years accounted for the highest number of Nigerians (24 percent) in this category. 

Finally, more needs to be done on the part of INEC to ensure that more Nigerians are registered before the electioneering activities commence as 17percent of adult Nigerians stated that they are yet to register. There is need for more awareness and voter education especially on online registration as it will go a long way in easing the stress of registration created by manual and physical registration. Similarly, INEC needs to improve on some of the challenges highlighted by fresh registrants to make the process worthwhile as well as ensure that eligible Nigerians will be captured in the registration exercise. Lastly, it is crucial for the Government to critically scrutinize the exclusion of electronic transmission of election results as 69 percent of adult Nigerians support the transmission of election results by INEC during elections. These are some of the key findings from the poll conducted in the week commencing August 9th, 2021.

Background

The constitution of Nigeria empowers and mandates INEC to conduct credible elections that will usher in new leaders at all levels in the country. In carrying out the mandate, INEC is expected to ensure that every Nigerian, regardless of ethnicity or background is giving such privileges without being disenfranchised. It is worth noting that the elections are preceded by voter registration in which every Nigerian who has turned 18 is expected to be registered so the individual can participate in elections. INEC, in carrying out this task is expected to be fair, transparent, just, and coordinated in the registration process. Additionally, every Nigerian is expected to be registered at his preferred registration point, provided the individual will vote at the location.

To ameliorate most of the challenges encountered by INEC during registration, the Commission decided to commence the voter registration, many months before the commencement of the general elections. This is heart-warming as it will give Nigerians above the age of 18 the opportunity to register early enough before the election. This process will ensure that every eligible voter has registered within this ample time. It is also worthy to know that the commission introduced online registration which will ultimately be the icing on the cake regarding elections in Nigeria. 

Online registration is indeed a welcome development and the way forward as it will help see off most of the challenges experienced during registration. About a month into the commencement of the registration, the Commission has already recorded over a million new registrations with the hope that many more will partake in the online registration as time goes on.[4] Against this backdrop, NOIPolls conducted a poll to gauge the opinion of Nigerians regarding the commencement of the continuous voters’ registrations as well as the mode of transmission of election results.

Survey Findings

The first question sought the level of awareness of Nigerians on the ongoing INEC Continuous Voter Registration exercise. The poll result revealed an even split as 50 percent of the respondents acknowledge awareness of the exercise whereas the other half (50 percent) claimed that they are not aware.

Analysis by geographical location showed that the Northcentral has more Nigerians (56 percent) who are aware of the exercise however, the South East (63 Percent) has the highest number of Nigerians who are not aware of the ongoing registration. Further analysis also showed that awareness was lowest among those aged 18 – 35 years.

Continuous Voter Registration (CVR) is an exercise meant for the registration of citizens who turned 18 years of age after the last registration exercise; or those who for one reason or another could not register in the previous exercises.

Given the above statement, respondents were asked about their registration status and the poll result revealed that 7 percent of adult Nigerians claimed to have registered since the commencement of the online and physical registration exercise on June 28th and July 26th respectively. According to the 2018 projected adult population by the Nigeria Population Commission, this figure represents about 7.4 million adult Nigerians who claimed to have registered since the commencement of this exercise. In addition, analysis by age group revealed that those aged 18 – 35 years have the highest number of adult Nigerians who claimed to have registered. Also, this figure represents about 600,000 adult Nigerians between 18 – 35 years who have registered since the commencement of this exercise.

Furthermore, it is gratifying to know that 63 percent of adult Nigerians disclosed that they already have their Permeant Voters Card (PVC), 8 percent applied for the transfer of the PVC to their current location, while 5 have their Temporary Voters Card (TVC). Generally, this implies that 81 million adult Nigerians have already been identified and included in the voters’ register of INEC.

On the other hand, 17 percent of adult Nigerians disclosed that they have not registered at all. Analysis by age group revealed that those aged 18 – 35 years accounted for the highest number of Nigerians (24 percent) in this category. 

Subsequently, Nigerians who stated that they have registered were further probed on the mode of their registration. The poll result indicated that out of the 7 percent, 62 percent stated that they registered physically, 35 percent said online, while 3 percent mentioned that they used both the online and the physical processes.

Interestingly, while the South-South and North-West zones had more Nigerians who stated that they registered physically, the South East and the South West zones had more Nigerians who took advantage of the online registration method

More findings revealed that the fresh registrants were saddled with some form of challenges during the registration process as reported by 24 percent of the respondents who recently used the online method or visited an INEC registration center for fresh registration. While registration challenges are experienced across the country as shown in the chart below, Nigerians residing in the South-South zone are more likely to face issues during registration.

Further probe showed that 28 percent of the respondents revealed that picture capturing was the major challenge faced at the registration center and during the online registration. This is closely followed by 27 percent who stated that processing error/bad network was also a serious challenge during the registration process. In addition, while 24 percent stated that they were more people than expected, 21 percent disclosed that the process was generally stressful. 

Consequently, opinions of Nigerians were sought regarding the mode of transmission of election results during elections. The poll result revealed that 69 percent of adult Nigerians nationwide prefer the adoption of electronic transmission of election results during elections in the country. This assertion cuts across gender, geo-political zones, and age-group with at least 62 percent representation. On the contrary, 31 percent disclosed that they do not support the electronic transmission of election results during elections.

When respondents were further probed, 26 percent of those who support electronic transmission stated that the main reason for their support is that it will bring some sort of transparency during the election. This is followed by 24 percent who stated that electronic transmission of election results is more reliable. While 17 percent mentioned that it will reflect the true result of the election, 12 percent asserted that it would reduce rigging during elections. Other reasons mentioned are that it will save time and cost (9 percent) as well as reduce violence or crime during elections (4 percent).

Concerning Nigerians who do not support the electronic transmission of election results, 50 percent believe that electronic transmission will not change the status quo, while 34 percent do not support it because they believe that the server will be hacked. In addition, while 10 percent believe that the country is not ready for electronic transmission of election results, 6 percent stated that they prefer the old method of transmitting election results.

Conclusion

In conclusion, the poll results have shown that 69 percent of Nigerians are in support of electronic transmission of elections results by INEC during elections. Therefore, it is pertinent that the President embarks on wider consultations before assenting to the Bill as a significant proportion of Nigerians believe that it will bring about some sort of transparency (28 percent), reduce rigging (17 percent), save time and cost (9 percent) as well as reduce election violence (4 percent).

On awareness, INEC should synergies with the National Orientation Agency (NOA) and Civil Society Organizations (CSOs) to drive the process of enlightening the citizens, particularly those in the rural areas and those aged between 18 – 35 years, on the electoral processes and the ongoing Continuous Voter Registration as this report revealed that 50 percent of Nigerians claimed not to be aware of the ongoing Continuous Voter’s Registration which commenced on June 28th and July 26th respectively.

Finally, on the e-registration, Nigerians, during the survey, commended INEC for the introduction of the online registration mainly due to overcoming the distance barrier and enhancing smooth registration process. However, INEC needs to improve on picture capturing as 28 percent of those who experienced challenges pointed out and this will go a long way in increasing the number of Nigerians registered per day.

Survey Methods

The opinion poll was conducted in the week commencing August 9th, 2021. It involved telephone interviews of a proportionate nationwide sample of 1,000 randomly selected phone-owning Nigerians aged 18 years and above, representing the six geopolitical regions and 36 states and the FCT of the country. Interviews were conducted in 5 languages – Igbo, Hausa, Yoruba, Pidgin English, and English. Although we can say with 95% confidence that the results obtained were statistically precise – within a margin of error of plus or minus 4.65%; we recognize that the exclusive use of telephone polling has its limitation of excluding non-phone-owning Nigerians. Nonetheless, with the country’s teledensity put over 100 percent by the Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC), we consider our telephone polling approach appropriate. Also, given the rigorous scientific process of randomization and stratification applied, we can confidently stand by the validity of our methodology and approach.

NOIPolls Limited, No1 for country-specific polling services in West Africa. We conduct periodic opinion polls and studies on various socio-economic and political issues in Nigeria. More information is available at www.noi-polls.com.

Disclaimer

This press release has been produced by NOIPolls Limited to provide information on all issues which form the subject matter of the document. Kindly note that while we are willing to share results from our polls with the public, we only request that NOIPolls be acknowledged as authors whenever and wherever our poll results are used, cited, or published. NOIPolls hereby certifies that all the views expressed in this document accurately reflect the views of respondents surveyed for the poll, and background information is based on information from various sources that it believes are reliable; however, no representation is made that it is accurate or complete. Whilst reasonable care has been taken in preparing this document, no responsibility or liability is accepted for errors or fact or any views expressed herein by NOIPolls for actions taken because of information provided in this report. Any ratings, forecasts, estimates, opinions, or views herein constitute a judgment as at the date of this document. If the date of this document is not current, the views and content may not reflect NOIPolls’ current findings and/or thinking.

Press Contact

Email:       editor@noi-polls.com

                  cakubue@noi-polls.com

                  nohuche@noi-polls.com

Number: +234 (0) 9 – 290 4162

                 +234 (0) 9 – 291 4877


[1] https://thenationonlineng.net/inec-we-have-capacity-for-electronic-transmission-of-results/

[2] https://inecnews.com/cvr-online-applications-hit-one-million-as-physical-registration-takes-off/

[3] https://inecnews.com/cvr-online-applications-hit-one-million-as-physical-registration-takes-off/

[4] https://inecnews.com/cvr-online-applications-hit-one-million-as-physical-registration-takes-off/