The INEC's DDC Machines - their limited use in the 2011 election
Kashim ibrahim library
Ahmadu Bello University
The INEC’S DDC Machines – their limited use in the 2011election.
Being under the shadow of networks for a while now , I have come to terms with the progressively changing technology of computers and their networks.
The possibility of having a perfect election in the country for the 2011 was clearly the vision of INEC. This, of course was at their finger tips with these machines in use.
The decision of the government to acquire this technology and put it to use was to completely eliminate the fallacies of elections at all levels.
Computers and networks are required to handle these operations with the trained personnel having them on their laps. The operations solely rely on waves and power.
Firstly, the technology of the computer is beyond the limit of INEC’s operations to exhaust. These computers can even do more. It all depends on what we want them to do.
With what the government concur, to play with the dummies, the finger prints, image capture and data which are the key elements required during the registrations all powers were within the finger tips of the operators. These data once captured remain within the system for its own consumption only unless we use the waves and signals to extract them out either in print or stored in magnetic form.
Secondly, the network aspect of the technology is the medium that shares these resources among the dummies and other locations. It goes beyond the eyes, it is either in waves, light or metal (copper) it’s the wedding ring of computers.
Finger prints which have a probability of one in a million being the same is a major item field required for specicificity. In Nigeria, we have an average of 120- people having the same finger prints. Then comes the picture, this is prone to duplication with twins, kins. The probability of having a duplicate is high. Lastly, could the data/information such as name, age, telephone no etc all be wrong or untraceable?
The computers and other networks equipment are the hard wares that are physically visible to perform these jobs. To use this equipment, software is required to communicate between them. This side of the ddc machines is as important as the other. As the banks have succeeded in centralizing their operations with added limitations so also these machines could be made to follow suit. The software must have the ability to sort the data with accuracy how ever much it is to create very useful information in a millisecond. This ability of the software is far beyond what human calculation could handle.
The INEC registration machines must have come with this software and that was why the registration was a success. Unfortunately the software failed to attend to the issues of multiple registrations and duplicate data entry. This should be the character of each machine. It was as a result of this failure we had people registering in multiple places. These multiple registrations, for some were not deliberate but as result of a system failure during the initial registration. A case so many was when patrons registered and the personnel came back the next day and claimed the system has crashed therefore people must re register. Such cases came out with multiple registrations as the system failed to sort out the duplications.
What was expected from these machines was a similar enquiry and response we do get when registering the yahoomail or gmail address. In such instance the system must be connected to the inter-net. As we register it sifts through it if such a name or data had ever been entered. It then came out with an option. This was because the data provided by us was once entered by someone else. Therefore we have a different identity. The ddc machines could have done more owing to inclusion of finger-print and image.
Another failure of the INEC machines is the lack of wide Area networks for the wards and local government polls, metropolitan Area network for the states polls or the internet for the online one time national polls.
How best to use the ddc machines during elections:
(With everything being equal) having a good working machine with a well programmed software and an excellent network the hope of having a perfect election is at our finger-tips. If all the above conditions are satisfied, and the registration was conducted successfully with all data edited and sorted out all we will require is the fingertips recognition inter face and touch screen to make a perfect election.
Once you place your finger it simply recognizes you and displays a screen of ballot boxes. You then place the other finger tip and select the party of choice. As you release the first finger the screen disappears and waits for the next person. This operation takes barely two minutes.
The authenticity of this is that it can’t be manipulated and two people can’t vote at a time and one person cannot vote twice.
If all these are done, the next and subsequent elections in the country by a determined INEC to have a free, fair, credible and honest election will be hailed not only in Nigeria but world wide for a well handled election.
Umar Uba 2011