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As Nigerians are getting ready to troop to their respective polling booths to cast their votes for their preferred candidates, below are important updates from the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) regarding the conducts of the elections.
1. Number of registered voters, polling units and registered political parties
The National Register of Voters presented to all the registered political parties by the chairman of INEC, Professor Mahmood Yakubu, indicated that the official total number of registered voters is: 84,004,084.
The total number of polling units, according to the commission, is 119,973 while the total number of registered political parties is 91.
2. Which fingers to use to vote
Reacting to the fake news circulated in some mediums that only the index finger can be used to thumbprint the ballot paper, INEC clarified that voters can use any finger to cast their votes, adding that the ballot paper is not finger-sensitive.
“A voter can use any finger to vote but should ensure that his or her mark is clear and placed inside the box of the political party of his or her choice and does not stray into another box,” INEC said.
3. Electoral offences
INEC has also released a list of offences voters should avoid during the electoral exercise. Some of the offences include:
- Multiple Voting
- Underage registration
- Breach of public peace
- Publication of Fake election results
- Campaigning on election day
- Vote Buying and selling
- Disruption of election process
- Prevention of voters from exercising rights
- Ballot box snatching and election materials
- Destruction of election materials
- Ballot box stuffing
- Vote padding
- Harassment and molestation of electoral officers
- Disenfranchisement of voters
4. People Living With Disabilities (PLWDs) can vote
Among other provisions, INEC has provided magnifying glasses and braille ballot papers for the visually impaired and blind persons to enable them to vote during the polls.
Preferential treatment will also be given to pregnant women and physically challenged persons during the polls as they will be given a separate row for their convenience.
5. Voters eligibility and timeline of activities
INEC has also released guidelines on voter eligibility and how the voting activities will be conducted. Click here to find out when the voting will start and other important updates on the timelines of activities.
6. Manual collation of results
INEC has said it will stick to manual collation and transmission of the elections’ results. The national commissioner and chairman, information and voter education, Festus Okoye, who made this known in Abuja, said the decision to stick to manual collation and transmission of results was in line with extant electoral laws.
The electoral umpire said the results would not be transmitted due to lack of enabling law to strengthen its hands in doing so.
INEC chairman, Professor Mahmood Yakubu, has also vowed to solely man the result collation centre, stressing that he will not share his constitutional responsibility as the chairman of the collation secretariat with anybody.
7. Elections will hold in northeast
INEC has also assured that it will not postpone elections in some communities in the northeast which have come under attacks of Boko Haram.
8. No voting with temporary voter card
INEC said no voter will be allowed to vote with the temporary voter card, stating that the smart card reader which would be deployed for the elections was structured to read only the Permanent Voter Cards (PVCs) which has special features embedded on it with the voters’ personal information.
9. Voting process
INEC has also released a seven-step voting process at polling booths in the general elections. The electoral body highlighted seven procedures the electorate should follow in casting their votes on the day of elections.