The Impacts of Smart Card Readers on Election Credibility in Nigeria: A Study of 2015 Presidential Election in Ekeremor Local Government Area of Bayelsa State, Nigeria.



The central issue in the 2015 presidential election in Nigeria was the use of the Smart Card Reader, which was a critical component in the election. It was used for the first time in the electoral process of Nigeria and it remains one of the greatest technological innovations of the 2015 presidential election. The Smart Card Reader is a technological device set up to authenticate and verify, on Election Day, a permanent voter’s card issued by the Independent National Electoral Commission. The fundamental basis for deploying the technological device was to ensure a credible, transparent, free and fair election and thereby to deepen Nigeria’s democracy. However, the use of the Card Reader generated debate among election stakeholders before, during and after the 2015 general elections. This study is located in Ekeremor Local Government Area of Bayelsa State. Four objectives were formulated to achieve and three (3) hypotheses were also discerned. The sample size for the study was 180 respondents. Data was collected with the use of the researcher’s constructed questionnaires. Data collected was analyzed using the statistical package for social sciences (SPSS) tabulations, mean and percentages (%). Inferal statistics and chi-square were employed to test the hypotheses. From the findings of the study it was revealed that the chi-square calculated (x-cal) of 2.71 and the chi-square tabulated (x-tab) of 2.69 (p=2.71>2.69). This was an indication that the Smart Card Reader has credibility on the conduct of the 2015 general elections in Nigeria. The study concluded the evolution of Smart Card Reader technology marks the significant development of the world. It was recommended that all Nigerians should accept the use of Smart Card Readers in the conduct of elections at all levels. Both INEC and Adhoc staff should be properly trained on the use of Smart Card Readers to eliminate the challenges experienced in the past general elections.

Keywords: impacts, smart card readers, permanent voter’s card and election credibility.

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ISSN (Paper)2224-5731 ISSN (Online)2225-0972

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