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The study is basically to examine online voting system in Nigeria elections as an improvement on the traditional paper voting. Worried by the frequent and debilitating incidences of electoral fraud and disenfranchisement of voters for unsubstantiated reasons, the study tended to investigate whether introduction of online voting can ensure credible voting process in Nigeria and hence, democracy. Hagen Martin theory of e-democracy was adopted as theoretical framework. Hagen construes e-democracy as a strategic tool to strengthen democratic practices using the Information and Computer Technology (ICT). The Project Work is an attempt which made use of the popular Structured System Analysis and Design Methodology (SSADM) and personal interviews to elicit information from respondents and/or come up with a unique functional Online voting platform. The secondary data were collected from journals, textbooks, internet materials and review of previous research reports on related topics. It is

CHAPTER ONE                             



Background of the Study

One basic feature of democracy that cuts across all races is the act of voting. Democracy thus encourages individual freedom according to the rule of law, so that people may behave and express themselves as they choose. This not only gives people a chance to choose their leaders, but also to freely express their views on issues. In response to the 1948 Universal Declaration of Human Rights which puts importance on the necessity of free elections, nations aim at new and improved voting procedures which are of relevance to elections in the 21


century (Salomonsen, 2005).

Voting is a method by which groups of people make decisions. These decisions could be political, social or public. Voting can also be used to choose between difficult plans of actions or to decide who is best eligible to be awarded a prize. Voting can thus be defined as a process that allows a group of individuals to choose between a number of options. Most voting systems are based on the concept of majority rule or plurality. For example, in an election, a candidate with a plurality receives more votes than any other candidate, but does not necessarily receive the majority of the total votes cast. With the passage of time, voting, which was mainly manual, has been influenced by Information Technology, with debates arising about the relevance or not, of computerized/online voting (Shamos, 2004; Cranor, 2011). Nevertheless, it is impossible to completely rule out the need for technology and electronic voting, with the growing number of eligible voters and manual ballot papers involved (Hunter, 2001). Smith and Clark (2005) indicate that electronic voting is the next logical step in applying online information-gathering and retrieval technologies to e-government. The choice of this project report topic evolved based on this theory. The project is to develop an Online Voting System (OVS) based on current voting procedures in Nigeria.

As it appears, information technology has become a tool for politics thus making “Electronic Republic” possible. Electronic Republic is all about e-government which simply means according to United Nations Global E-Government Readiness Report 2004 as cited in Akpan-Obong & Alozie (2016,p.15), a “programmatic” tool through which socio-economic and environmental services are rendered to the population while also fostering active participation and social inclusion. Operation of public administration has been digitalized to the extent that so many things can be achieved precisely, correctly and within a short while. Democratic politics, especially the area of election is a strong determinant of political development of a state. It is in the quest to achieve democratic government and good governance that e-voting is introduced as a credible alternative to the traditional paper voting system. The aim of e-voting is to afford the citizens of the country the opportunity to participate in the voting process from where ever they are. Online voting or E-voting is an electronic means of handling electoral matters which include voting, transmission and counting of ballots. It refers to voting using electronic means to either aid or take care of the chores of casting and counting votes. It can also involve transmission of ballots and votes via telephone, private computer network, or the internet (https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Electronic _voting). E–voting is one of the most important aspects of e-democracy as its introduction can accommodate the political and democratic interests of citizens who are either physically challenged or are outside the shores of Nigeria.

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