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Wed, 30 Mar 2011


- Idowu Kayode

What will happen on Election Day?

·         Accreditation to verify that everyone who presents a voter’s card is on the voters’ register will take place from 8am to 12 pm (with a 30 minute time buffer allowed).

·         At 12.30 pm, the queue for voting will be formed. Verification of each person on the queue (who has been accredited already) will take place before actual voting commences.

·         Voters will use their fingerprint to select the candidate of their choice on ballot papers.

·         After voting has ended, voters may remain to see the counting of the votes.

·         The total number of votes cast should not exceed the number of accredited voters at that polling unit; if it does, the results for that center will be automatically nullified.

·         After the results are tallied, the appropriate forms are filled, copies are given to party agents and other official observers at the center, and one copy is pasted at the polling center.


Will the Election process be free of violence?

·         INEC is working very closely with security agencies. To ensure sufficient coordination and harmonization of roles and responsibilities for the security of INEC staff, voters and the ballots, an inter-agency committee has been established, with the police playing a major role. Personnel of all the agencies have been factored into one operation plan, to avoid duplication/overlaps in certain areas.

·         Logistics and security support have also been organized for areas identified as hotspots, as well as difficult terrain locations.


How will INEC handle the large crowds?

·         Some level of decentralization has been necessitated in areas with large numbers of registered voters, for crowd control and to ensure accreditation takes place within the four hours allotted. These areas are known and INEC is working on this challenge, planning on a state-by-state basis for these high-density centers which will have to be split. Polling Units with more than 300 registered voters are to be subdivided into voting points for ease of accreditation and issued of ballot papers to take place.


How will INEC prevent voter intimidation?

·         The inter-agency committee has come to a collective decision that candidates will not be allowed into polling centers with armed personnel. They are required to vote and return home, and will not be allowed to circulate or visit other centers.


Why is there a separate accreditation and voting process?

·         Past elections – such as those conducted in 1993 – have shown that accreditation prior to voting enhances fair and just elections; it hinders people from voting more than once and promotes transparency.


Do Voters have to stay behind after casting their vote?

·         Voters are encouraged to stay and witness the ballot counting in the interest of full transparency, but they are not obliged to do so.


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Disclaimer: Content is the Opinion of the Author and is not in anyway representative of the Opinions of the Nigerian Election Coalition, WANGONeT, or the MacArthur Foundation except otherwise stated.


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