Election Accreditation And Voting Procedure
• Voting will take place on a date to be determined by the INEC. [THAT IS: MARCH 28 FOR NATIONAL ELECTIONS (PRESIDENTIAL, NATIONAL LEGISLATURE); APRIL 11 FOR GUBERNATORIAL AND STATE LEGISLATURE; NO FURTHER POSTPONEMENTS, THANK GOD!]
• Polling units will be open from 8 am.
• Polling units will open at 8 am for Accreditation and close at 1.00pm
• Voting starts 1:30 pm.
• You must vote in the same Polling Unit you completed your Voter Registration. [RE-VERIFY your POLLING UNIT BY SENDING the short message "INEC Your-State Your-Last-Name Last-Five-Digits-of-your-VIN" to 20120 (without quotes); or "Your-State Your-Last-Name Last-Five-Digits-of-your-VIN to 0817-164-6879 (without quotes)]
THE VOTER- WHO IS HE/SHE?
• S/He is a Nigerian citizen.
• S/He is 18 years and above.
• S/He has registered in the constituency where he intends to vote.
• S/He possesses a registration card obtained during voters’ registration. [BRING ALONG YOUR PERMANENT VOTERS CARD (PVC). TVCs NOT ACCEPTED.]
HOW VOTER CAN VERIFY REGISTRATION
• A voter is expected to check the register of voters to ascertain that his name is included.
• That his name was correctly spelt and written.
• This is done when the register is displayed for inspection.
PERSONS WHO CANNOT VOTE
• The following persons cannot vote at election.
• All persons below the age of 18 years.
• All non-Nigerians.
• All persons who did not register as voters.
• All persons who do not hold a voter registration card. [BRING ALONG YOUR PERMANENT VOTERS CARD (PVC). TVCs NOT ACCEPTED.]
• All persons whose names are not in the voters register.
WHERE TO VOTE
• Voting takes place at polling stations/units.
• A voter is expected to cast his vote at the polling unit where his name is on the voter register.
• A voter is expected to identfy his polling station where his name is on the voter register.
• A polling unit nearest to the residence of the voter. [RE-VERIFY your POLLING UNIT BY SENDING the message "INEC Your-State Your-Last-Name Last-Five-Digits-of-your-VIN" to 20120 (without quotes); or "Your-State Your-Last-Name Last-Five-Digits-of-your-VIN to 0817-164-6879 (without quotes)]
HOW TO VOTE:
• Voting will be by Open Secret Ballot System. [CHOOSE IN SECRET ON BALLOT PAPER, BUT PUT YOUR BALLOT PAPER IN BOX IN THE OPEN]
• Your vote is secret because no one will see which candidate you choose.
• You will mark your ballot behind a polling screen secretly.
• Apply your finger print only in one circle/space which corresponds to the candidate of your choice.
PROCEDURE: PREPARING FOR VOTING:
• The Presiding Officer (PO) shall:
• Explain the voting procedure to the voters.
• Invite all voters accreditated to form a single queue.
• Where culture does not allow men and women to mingle in a queue, separate queues are created for men and women.
• The PO shall count loudly the number of accredited voters in the queue, and record the number. [NO. 1 STEP OF PROTECTING YOUR VOTE: Record this number down, on paper (with date and time) and in your head]
COMMENCEMENT OF VOTING:
• At the commencement of voting, the PO shall:
• Invite the voters on queue to approach the poll clerk (PC) in an orderly manner.
• On presentation of voter’s card, the PC shall:
• Check appropriate cuticle thumbnail of voter and when he is satisfied that the person has been duly accredited.
• Tick the voters’ register on the right hand side of voter’s name.
• Indicating that he has voted.
• Apply indelible ink on the cuticle of the voter’s appropriate thumbnail.
• The Poll Assistant (PA) shall apply ink to the next finger of the respective hand
• Voters who have no Right/Left hand, the PA shall:
• Apply the ink to the corresponding toes of the voter’s Right/Left foot.
• Voters have neither fingers nor toes:
• Ink shall be applied on the corresponding toes of the persons assisting them.
ISSUANCE OF BALLOT PAPER AND VOTING:
• The voter shall present himself to the Polling official (PO).
• The PO shall stamp and sign the back of ballot paper.
• Fold the ballot paper vertically with the printed side inwards.
• Issue the signed, stamped ballot paper to the voter.
• The voter moves to the voting cuticle. [CUBICLE, NOT CUTICLE]
• Mark the ballot paper in the space provided beside the party logo of the voters’ choice
• Fold the ballot paper.
• Deposit the marked ballot paper into the ballot box.
• Marking of ballot paper by voter must be done in secret.
• Depositing the ballot paper in the ballot box in open view of all persons present.
• Only one voter at a time to the voting cubicle.
OFFENCES ON ELECTION DAY:
PART VIII SC. 129 (1) states that:
1. No person shall on the date an election is held do any of the following acts or things in a polling unit or within a distance of 300 metres of a polling unit-
(a) Canvass for votes; [THAT SHOULD INCLUDE NO POSTERS WITHIN 300 METERS OF A PU]
(b) Solicit for the vote of any voter [THAT SHOULD INCLUDE NO POSTERS WITHIN 300 METERS OF A PU]
(c) Persuade any voter not to vote for any particular candidate; [THAT SHOULD INCLUDE NO POSTERS WITHIN 300 METERS OF A PU, OR EVEN RADIO/TV ANNOUNCEMENTS]
(d) Persuade any voter not to vote at any election;
(e) Shout slogans concerning the election; [THAT SHOULD INCLUDE NO RADIO/TV ANNOUNCEMENTS]
(f) Be in possession of any offensive weapon or wear any dress or have any facial or other decoration which in any event is calculated to intimidate voters;
(g) Exhibit, wear or tender any notice, symbol photograph or party card referring to the election;
(h) Use any vehicle bearing the colour or symbol of a political party by any means whatever;
(i) Loiter without lawful excuse after voting or after being refused to vote; ["WITHOUT EXCUSE" SHOULD NOT INCLUDE VOTERS WITH PVCs, WHOSE LEGITIMATE EXCUSES ARE TO VOTE AND TO PROTECT THEIR VOTE
NO 2 STEP OF PROTECTING YOUR VOTE: STICK AROUND AFTER YOU VOTE; YOUR LAWFUL EXCUSE IS THAT YOU WANT TO SEE YOUR VOTE COUNT]
(j) Snatch or destroy any election materials [NO VIOLENCE PLEASE]; and
(k) Blare siren [NO NOISE PLEASE]
“Any person who contravens any of the provisions of this section commits an offence and shall be liable on conviction to a fine of N100,000 or imprisonment for 6 months for every such offence”. [AVOID FINE OR IMPRISONMENT, PLEASE]