There are important things that we all need to know as we prepare to perform our civic duty this Saturday 28th March 2015. The following information has been recommended by the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC Nigeria) for the safety of civilians, voters, officials, and the reputation of the candidates of their respective parties.
• Voting will take place on a date to be determined by the INEC, which is on the 28th March and 11th April 2015.
• Polling units will be open from 8 am.
• Accreditation will start at 8:00am and close at 1.00pm
• Voting starts 1:30 pm.
• You must vote in the same Polling Unit you completed your Voter Registration and collected your PVC
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 identify his polling station where his name is on the voter register.
• A polling unit nearest to the residence of the voter.
HOW TO VOTE:
• Voting will be by Open Secret Ballot System.
• 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 accredited 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.
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.
• 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.
OFFENSES 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 offense and shall be liable on conviction to a fine of N100,000 or imprisonment for 6 months for every such offense”.