electoral integrity

The proceeds and the paraneferia of office enjoyed by the Executives and the Legislatures in Nigeria can never be compared with other clients all over the world that have been practicing constitutional democracy for centuries. That is why, the political elites involve themselves in all sorts of elections maleficent to perpetuate themselves in office by introducing twisted policies to subvert the will of the electorates. According to NSGIC’s Geo-Enabled Elections project 2017-2019, transiting from the un-verifiable election method to a Geographic Information System (GIS), elections management requires a sound plan, effort and resolve. The inherent technical capacity of GIS visualization and analytical advantages involves replacing non-spatial ‘voter’s address file’ systems with election district and voter location data in a GIS format. But in practice, it requires some additional investment, technology and resolves to answer the most frequently asked question from the electorates ‘Does the election management body (INEC) in Nigeria know the geographic locations of their voters’?. This task of course requires relentless efforts from INEC and building the staff capacities and having synergy with relevant or sister organizations for data standards, exchange and metadata development. The file geo-database of point attribute data set of all eligible voters in the study was exported to ArcMap of ArcGIS into the geo-coder, where parameters were set for both urban and rural voters’ proximity at the prompt of file geo-dBase. The implicit operations of the geocoder’s algorithm generate the result on a spreadsheet format (.xlsx) revealing the name of each voter, the demographic characteristics, location (in terms of latitude and longitude) and shortest or nearest voting point. This reduces to a great extent multiple voting, and voter apathy and helps INEC plan effectively.

Author(s) Details:

Isa Agaie Dawodu
Department of Geo-informatics and Surveying, Faculty of Environmental Studies, University of Nigeria, Enugu Campus (UNN), Nigeria.

Francis Ifeanyi Okeke
Department of Geo-informatics and Surveying, Faculty of Environmental Studies, University of Nigeria, Enugu Campus (UNN), Nigeria.

Mubarak Umar Faruk
Department of Geo-informatics and Surveying, Faculty of Environmental Studies, University of Nigeria, Enugu Campus (UNN), Nigeria.

Yusuf Ibrahin Kuriwa
Department of Geo-informatics and Surveying, Faculty of Environmental Studies, University of Nigeria, Enugu Campus (UNN), Nigeria.


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Recent Global Research Developments in Enhancing Electoral Integrity in Nigeria through Geographic Information Systems (GIS)

GIS in Electoral Processes:

  • Purpose: GIS serves as a powerful tool to enhance community engagement during elections.
  • Spatial Dimension: GIS technologies provide a spatial dimension to electoral data, allowing stakeholders to visualize, analyze, and disseminate information relevant to the voting populace.
  • Interactive Maps and Demographic Profiling: By combining geospatial data with electoral information, GIS facilitates the creation of interactive maps, demographic profiling, and spatial analysis.
  • Resource Allocation and Accessibility: GIS optimizes electoral resource allocation, ensures equitable distribution of polling stations, and enhances accessibility for voters, especially in marginalized or remote areas.

Impact of GIS in Elections:

  • Transparency and Accountability: GIS enables informed decision-making, enhancing electoral transparency, integrity, and accountability.
  • Real-Time Monitoring: Real-time monitoring of electoral activities using GIS allows proactive responses to emerging challenges, ensuring the integrity of the electoral process.
  • Targeted Voter Outreach: GIS helps tailor voter outreach campaigns based on demographic characteristics, promoting inclusivity and voter enfranchisement.

Civic Responsibility:

  • Citizens: GIS promotes spatial literacy and awareness of electoral procedures, empowering citizens to actively engage in the democratic process.
  • Electoral Authorities: Authorities must use GIS to uphold electoral integrity, safeguard voter rights, and foster trust in the system.

References

  1. Isa Agaie Dawodu, Francis Ifeanyi Okeke, Mubarak Umar Faruk, & Yusuf Ibrahin Kuriwa. (2023). Geo-coding of Voter’s Residential Address: A Panacea to Election Malpractice in Jos South LGA of Plateau State, Nigeria. Journal of Psychology and Political Science(JPPS) ISSN 2799-1024, 3(06), 56–62. https://doi.org/10.55529/jpps.36.56.62

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