Beyond the Card Reader: Elections Rigging as an Emerging National Security Threat in Nigeria

This paper offers an evaluation of the existing technological strategies introduced into the Nigerian electoral process to address the problem of electoral malpractices and fraud affecting the quality of elections. The paper answers the following questions: (i) Are technological devices really fit for the purpose for which they were introduced? (ii) In what ways have the technological devices improved the quality of elections in Nigeria? (iii) Is Nigeria technically ready and able to manage effectively electronic devices that have the potential of being used to unleash massive electoral fraud that could completely undermine peaceful coexistence within its fragile and sensitive electoral context? Following the findings of a larger study, which identify many challenges surrounding the use of electronic devices in the electoral processes of other countries, the paper provides a set of policy recommendations on how to ensure the effective mobilisation of high technology devices towards improving the credibility of elections in Nigeria.