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INEC Opens Up On IReV Failure During 2023 Presidential Election




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INEC Finally Opens Up IReV Failure During 2023 Presidential Election

The Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) has finally opened up on the Result Viewing Portal (IReV) failure during the 2023 presidential election.

Naija News reports that INEC stated the failure of IReV in a comprehensive report on the 2023 general election released on Thursday, the first anniversary of the election.

In the report seen by TheCable, INEC said the server returned an “HTTP error” because of a configuration bug discovered after the polling units’ presiding officers could only upload the results of the national assembly elections.

INEC narrated how the problem was first reported at 4 pm on election day and how it was partially resolved in four hours, adding that after identifying the source of the problem, it quickly created and deployed hotfixes, software updates for fixing a bug or any vulnerabilities in a system.

INEC stated that the deployed hotfixes eventually resolved the HTTP error on the system, and the first presidential election result sheet was successfully uploaded at 8.55 pm on 25th February, 2023.

The Commission admitted that it was a key challenge that “impacted on the public perception” of the election and elicited “widespread commentary across the country”.

The report reads: “In configuring and mapping the election results for the presidential and NASS elections, the Commission created Four Hundred and Seventy (470) election types consisting of one presidential constituency covering the entire country, 109 Senatorial Districts and 360 Federal Constituencies.

“Each Senatorial District and Federal Constituency election on the database was mapped to their respective States. However, the presidential election result is a single, countrywide constituency and, therefore, does not belong to any one State.

“Consequently, 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 organization 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 organize the uploaded images of the result sheets of the presidential election.

INEC said the IReV portal is one of the most significant innovations introduced prior to the 2023 General Election to promote the integrity and transparency of the electoral process.

The report added: “The challenge of uploading the PU presidential election results on the IReV after the presidential and NASS elections on 25th February 2023 was unique. As voting ended across the country and POs began the process of uploading the images of the PU result sheets of the elections for the various constituencies around 4:00 pm, the Commission began to receive reports that attempts to upload presidential election result sheets were failing.

“Following these reports, the Commission immediately engaged with its field officials for details in order to understand and trace the origin, source, scale and magnitude of the problem across the result management ecosystem to devise appropriate solutions.

“In the troubleshooting process, it was established that there was no issue in uploading the PU result sheets of the Senate and House of Representatives elections through the Election Result Modules. However, there was a problem with uploading the presidential election results to the system.

“Attempts to upload the results were generating internal server errors, which refer to a significant impairment that usually originate from within an application due to problems relating to configuration, permissions, or failure to create or access application resources correctly.

“Further interrogation of the Election Result Modules indicated that the system is encountering an unexpected configuration problem in mapping the presidential election results uploaded into the system to the participating Polling Units.

“Due to the complex, sensitive and critical nature of the systems and the real potential for malicious cyberattacks, the Commission immediately put in place several strict security and audit control measures to prevent any unfettered or elevated access to the Result Upload System.”

Ige Olugbenga is a fine-grained journalist. He loves the smell of a good lead and has a penchant for finding out something nobody else knows.