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How to Vote in The Upcoming Elections in Nigeria
| March 23, 2015

After being postponed from February, 14 2015 to March, 27 2015, finally Nigeria's election day is going to take place on March, 28 2015. Voters will elect the President and Members to the House of Representatives and the Senate.  Therefore, you should know the preparation needed for a voter to vote in the upcoming election in Nigeria.

To vote in the upcoming election in Nigeria you must require and follow the followings:

Permanent Voter Card (PVC):

To vote in Nigerian election you must have a Permanent Voter Card or PVC. According to new guidelines from Independent Nigerian Electoral Commission (INEC) you cannot vote on election day unless you have a PVC.

PVC is a Smart card- Based identification card. It records bio-data, biometrics and facial image. It has increased security feature.

1. Eligibility for PVC:

You are eligible for PVC if you :

  • Have registered before
  • are in the registered voters displayed
  • Have a Temporary Voter Card (TVC)
  • Have lost your TVC and your identity can be confirmed
  • Are physically present at the collection center
  • Are an eligible voter. In other words you are:
    1. A Nigerian citizen
    2. 18 years and above
    3. registered in the constituency where you intend to vote

2. Collecting your PVC:

To collect your PVC you have to go through the following steps:

  • Find your Polling Unit from the INEC website.
  • Go to the pre-selected Polling Unit
  • Get your picture taken and information recorded.

Your PVC distribution will be done in your Polling Unit. The distribution will be done from 8:00 AM to 4:00 PM.  If you cannot go physically to collect your PVC during the specified period you would have to collect it afterwards from  INEC office in the Local Government Area (LGA).

Election Day:

On Election Day you have to show up with your PVC. Go to the Polling Unit you Registered your PVC from. You cannot vote anywhere else but your selected Polling Unit you can find your polling station here.  Before casting your vote you are expected to check if you name is in the registered voter list and all of your information is correct. The voting procedures are mainly carried out in two levels:

  1. Getting Accredited
  2. Casting Vote

1.Getting Accredited:

In order to vote in Nigeria you must get accredited first. The accreditation process starts at 8:00 AM when the Polling Unit opens and ends at 1:00 PM. You will have to present your PVC to the appropriate Electoral Official. The Official will match the data of your PVC with the register and read  your PVC with the card reader machine. Then the card reader will take your finger print verification. When your accreditation will be complete the Polling Official will apply indelible ink on the cuticle of your thumbnail and give you an accreditation tag.

2. Casting Vote:

The voting will start at 1:30 PM or whenever the accreditation process ends. The Presiding Officer will instruct you about the proper voting procedure. Then you have to form a line and the officer will loudly count the number of voters.

Afterward, at the front of the queue a Poll Clerk will take your PVC and accreditation tag to tick beside your name in the register to indicate that you have voted.

The Polling Official will then sign, stamp and give date on the back of a ballot paper to you. The official will vertically fold the paper with the printed side inward. You will take the ballot paper to a cubicle, where the information on the voted ballot paper will be a secret.

You have to give your fingerprint on the box beside the logo of your preferred candidate. Make sure your fingerprint does not go outside the border of the respective box. You can only chose one candidate. You have to deposit 3 ballot papers:

  1. For president
  2. For senate
  3. For the House of Representatives

The ballot paper is deposited in front of everyone. Thus, the voting procedure continues.

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