Hi there, you are welcome back. This is the second post in our Citizens’ Platform: Voting 101 series and today, we will be talking about what goes down on the election day itself. Do enjoy reading it. We hope you will pick something that will be useful in the days to come.
COMMENCEMENT OF VOTING:
Remember that you are qualified to vote if you are a registered voter and you name appears on the register of voters at your polling unit. You must also present yourself at the polling unit. On each Election Day, polling units will open for Accreditation and Voting from 8:00am to 2.00pm. However voters already on the queue before the close of poll at 2.00pm will be accredited and allowed to vote.
At the commencement of voting, the Polling Official shall invite the voters on queue to approach the poll clerk (PC) in an orderly manner to present their voters’ cards. This is for the PC to check if the photograph on the PVC matches your face. Then s/he will check if your name is on the register for that polling unit. S/he will also use the card reader to confirm the status of the PVC. After this, S/he will check your fingers to ascertain that you have not voted before.
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
For voters who have no Right/Left hand, the PA shall apply the ink to the corresponding toes of the voter’s Right/Left foot. For voters who 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 PO who will stamp and sign the back of ballot paper then fold the ballot paper vertically with the printed side inwards. The PO will issue the signed, stamped ballot paper to the voter after which the voter moves to the voting cuticle.
At the polling booth, you will then stain your appropriate finger for the election with indelible ink. You will use your stained thumb to mark the section provided on the ballot paper for your preferred candidate/party. After this, fold the ballot paper and 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.
You have now done your civic duty and can return home or remain at the polling booth to monitor the progress of the voting process.
Asides knowing the voting process, we must also tell you about the things that can get you into trouble. What are the Don’ts of an election day?
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;
(b) Solicit for the vote of any voter;
(c) Persuade any voter not to vote for any particular candidate;
(d) Persuade any voter not to vote at any election;
(e) Shout slogans concerning the election;
(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;
(j) Snatch or destroy any election materials; and
(k) Blare siren
“Any person who contravenes 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”
Please steer clear of these activities.
That concludes today’s post on Voting 101. Please be reminded that a good chunk of the information in this post and a few others in this series have been culled from the INEC website. Till the next post, be a true citizen.