Innovation That Matters

Solar-powered, electronic voting machine prevents election fraud in Nigeria

Nonprofit & Social Cause

Scientists from the Electronic Development Institute created a solar-powered hand-held voting machine that uses biometrics for voter authentication.

Overseen by the National Agency for Science and Engineering Infrastructure (NASENI), Nigeria’s Electronic Development Institute (ELDI) recently introduced its solar-powered, portable electronic voting machine. A huge development in the work to prevent voter fraud, the machine aims to eliminate challenges such as miscounts, multiple votes and ballot box snatching. The small size of the machine also marks a substantial improvement in making voting more accessible to all communities, including those in particularly remote areas.

Voters prove their identity in three ways – by facial recognition, thumbprint and identity card. All results are stored in the cloud, which should make theft of the device much less likely. The scientists behind the device say that the speed of voting electronically could also help prevent manipulation of results.

Other countries working on improving and strengthening the democratic processes of voting include Jordan and the United States. In Jordan, an app allows voters with policy questions to contact parliamentary candidates. And in the United States, a mobile phone company turned many of its shops into polling stations to help make voting more accessible. How could general improvements in civic engagement help increase the numbers of voters?




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