On the 1st November 2019, the electoral committee members for the Students’ Union Government SUG The Polytechnic, Ibadan election converged at the old Board of Studies hall to discuss the reason why the 2019 SUG election has been delayed, and as well disclose the method for voting to the public.
The meeting which started around 3:43 pm had in attendance the Dean, Students’ Affairs, Dr. Ajibola, members of staff of the Directorate of Students’ Affairs, Representatives of Faculties and Departments, as well as Students’ Union representatives.
According to the Dean Students’ Affairs, Dr. Ajibola, the reason for the delay in the election activities is because of the change of the voting method by the Management. To him, there is the need to look into the school environment and the threat to security which as a result, the management has decided to introduce e-voting.
Dr. Ajibola said further, “the preparation has been ongoing because there is the need to download the software for the voting which was finalized on Monday morning and would be tested in one of the Faculties elections next Tuesday or Wednesday. Also, this method was introduced to ease students, so they can have the chance to cast their vote anywhere they are.”
In his own observation, one of the representatives from the faculty of Engineering raised that there is the need to put into consideration the confidentiality and the human factor. He said there is the need to take cognizance of those that will be handling the voting processes.
While responding, the Dean of Students’ Affairs, Dr. Ajibola stated that there would be a projector and a big screen to monitor the voting. He said that e-voting is a development that tends to change the method of the usual manual election.
He also emphasized that the date for the election is yet to be deliberated on but according to him, subsequent weeks before the end of examinations, the date would be selected.
Mr. Oyewo, a representative from the Faculty of Business and Communication Studies, FBCS inquired more about the effort of the management towards curbing manipulation and the trust in the innovation.
Mr. Oyewo further suggested that to prevent chaos during election as well as to ensure that all students have access to voting during the election, there is the need to make available the manual voting system so that if there is server problem for the e-voting, students can also exercise their franchise by switching to the manual voting method.
In her response, Mrs. Ayoade said the Management wants the e-voting instead of the manual voting because of the security threats on campus. She stated that the only criterion for the voting is school fee receipt which a student cannot vote more than once. She reinstated that the necessary orientation would be given to the students.
The software personnel in his response disclosed the website for the e-voting which for security reasons is not allowed to be disclosed to the students for now. He said that confidentiality is ascertained as well as the internet access on that day would be stable as no other internet server would be allowed to connect and about twenty thousand students are presently on the database.
The meeting also had an agenda for screening exercise where about thirty-three aspirants for the Students’ Union executive posts were screened as well as thirty-nine aspirants for Senate seat at the Students’ Representative Council and which they were all marked as being qualified for the posts.