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How To Vote In 2023 General Elections

In another 33 days from now, Nigeria’s electorates will have the opportunity to elect a new president, state governors, and legislators at the state and federal levels who will represent them for another four years.

According to the Chairman of the Independence Electoral Commission, INEC, Prof Yakubu Mahmood, 9,518,188 new voters have been added to the existing register of 84,004,084 voters and the preliminary register of voters in Nigeria now stands at 93,522,272.

Meanwhile, according to INEC data, at the conclusion of the 2019 presidential elections, 1,289,607 votes were rejected nationwide, which is 4.5% of the total vote cast. These votes were voided due to sundry reasons including blurted voting.

The expert analysis says the figure constitutes 4.5 percent of the total 28,614,190 votes cast in the election. It was observed that the voided votes were more than the total valid ballots cast in each of 34 states of the federation, including the Federal Capital Territory (FCT).

These new voters which were just added to the old voters have never voted before and this article will walk you through how you can vote and avoid cancellation. This article also aimed at reducing the number of rejected votes in the forthcoming elections in the country.

This is designed to help you understand the Voting Procedures during an election. Remember that you are qualified to vote if you are a registered voter and your name appears on the register of voters at your polling.

In order to avoid void votes, make sure you properly thumb printed in the space provided for the candidate/party of your choice. Avoid overlapping thump printing. Meaning that, don’t let your thumbprint overlap with another candidate, if you let it overlap, such votes will be voided by INEC officials at the collation centre, which means all your efforts are in vain.

Another thing to note is that don’t let the ink in your thumb stain the voting paper, so, you need to be very careful during this process of voting. And most especially, listen to instructions from the INEC officials in the polling booth where you want to vote.

Here are the steps you need to follow during the elections to avoid void votes in the forthcoming general elections. Please take notes of every step one after the other.

Opening of the Polling Units:

On each Election Day, polling stations will open for Accreditation and Voting from 8:00 am to 2.00 pm. However, voters on the queue before the close of poll at 2:00pm will be accredited and allowed to vote.

Voting Procedure:

Voting at the polling unit will be as follows:

Step 1:

At the polling unit, join the queue. An INEC official will check if you are at the correct polling unit and confirm that the PVC presented belongs to you.

Step 2:

An INEC official will confirm if your PVC is genuine using the card reader. You will be asked to place your finger on the card reader.

Step 3:

An INEC official will ask for your PVC and confirm you are listed in the Voters Register. Your name will be ticked and your finger will be inked to confirm you have voted. If your name is not found you cannot vote.

Step 4:

The Presiding officer will stamp, sign and endorse your ballot paper. You will be given the ballot paper rolled with the printed side inwards and directed to the voting cubicle.

Step 5:

Stain your finger with the ink given and mark the box for your preferred candidate/party. Roll the ballot paper in the manner you were given and flatten it.

Step 6:

Leave the voting cubicle and drop the ballot paper in the ballot box in full view of people at the Polling Unit.

Step 7:

Leave the Polling Unit or wait if you so choose, in an orderly and peaceful manner, to watch the process up to declaration of result.

N.B: The result of each Polling Unit shall be pasted at the unit for everyone to see.

Your right as a voter:

On each Election Day, you have the right to:

  • Access the polling station
  • Receive information on the voting procedures from the poll officials
  • Vote in secret.

Responsibility of the Voter:

  • Obey all lawful instructions from the INEC and Security Officials on election duty.
  • Leave the polling unit or wait if you so choose in an orderly and peaceful manner.
  • Encourage other voters to do likewise.

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Damilare Bankole

Managing Editor, Lagos Post Online. Damilare is a disciplined tech enthusiast and media entrepreneur with interest and unparalleled passion for model Web and app design technology. He is a firm believer in the meaningful role research and innovation can play in addressing economic issues across industries and sectors. He's passionate about online Journalism. Damilare is also a Photographer. M: +2348025837037 E: lagospostng@gmail.com

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