New Telegraph

2023 Poll: INEC Blame Configuration Problem For Failure To Upload Election Results

The Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) has blamed the inability of the Bimodal Voter Identification System (BVAS) to upload the 2023 presidential election on the INEC Report Viewing Portal (IReV) on unexpected configuration problem associated with the mapping out of the presidential election results to participating polling units.

INEC had successfully uploaded the Senatorial and House of Representatives results but failed to upload that the presidential election was conducted on the same day.

This later became the subject of litigation both at the Presidential Election Petition Court (PEPC) and at the Supreme Court.

However the commission had reserved comment at that time because the issue was still the subject of litigation.

INEC in a 526-page report on the conduct of the 2023 general election released on Friday, disclosed that in configuring and mapping the election results for the presidential and National Assembly elections, it created 470 election types consisting of one presidential constituency, which covered the whole country, 109 senatorial districts and 360 federal constituencies.

“Each senatorial district and federal constituency election on the database was mapped to their respective states,” the commission stated but added that because the presidential election is a single, countrywide constituency that does not belong to any one state, the server failed to recognise it.

According to the report, “while the uploads for the NASS elections succeeded as the application was able to identify the respective state and build the folder hierarchy for the results organisation process for the election, attempts to upload the presidential election results sheets, which does not belong to or mapped to any state on the database, failed.

“Instead, it returned an HTTP server error response. This failure is attributable to the inability of the application to create and build a folder structure to organise the uploaded images of the result sheets of the presidential election.”

The report explained that the commission attempted to solve the problem by quickly creating and deploying “hotfixes”, which it stated, are software updates for fixing a bug or any vulnerabilities in a system.

It added that the deployed hotfixes were able to resolve the HTTP error on the system leading to the upload of the first presidential election result sheet at 8.55 pm.

The report further blamed the continued challenges experienced after the problem was resolved, on a high volume of uploads on the queue.

“All results that were scanned but could not be uploaded due to the error were queued waiting to be automatically processed.

“Due to the large volume and high traffic from the queue, the system was running slower, even though it tried to scale up automatically to handle the unanticipated heavy traffic.

“The density of the traffic that slowed the uploads was one issue. Another was that the offline queue requires the BVAS devices to be switched on and connected to the internet for the
upload,” it added.

According to the report, by that time, some of the election presiding officers had left their polling units, “and the devices had either been switched off or were out of internet coverage.

“Switched-of devices could not connect and upload the results sheets. The commission had to reach out to the POs of affected areas to switch on their systems and ensure internet connectivity for the uploads to continue. This accounted for the delay, with some of the results coming in the next day.”

The report however stated that the glitch in the upload of the presidential results sheets to iREV did not affect the credibility of the election, as agents of political parties and security agents were given copies of polling station results after they were announced in public.

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