How to vote: All you need to know about the 2023 election process

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In this article, we have curated everything you need to know about preparing for the voting process.

The 2023 presidential election is on Saturday, 25th of February, and as candidates are rounding off their campaigns, the whole nation is gearing up for the final election process; voting. It has been touted as one of the most important elections in Nigeria’s history.

The Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) Chairman, Mahmood Yakubu, reported that it has a total of over 93,5 million eligible voters in its voters registered. Students make up the largest category of registered voters par occupational distribution.

How to vote: All you need to know about the 2023 election process
Compared to the 2019 general elections, there is an 11.3 per cent increase in the number according to The Premium Times. But many of these newly registered voters are clueless about what to expect on Saturday and how to prepare for the election.

This article has curated everything you need to know about preparing for the voting process.

How to prepare for election day
PVC ready: Ensure your Permanent Voters Card (PVC) is available.

Personal safety: Prepare to wear a politically neutral outfit. Go to the polling unit with a small backpack of essentials like water, hand sanitiser, tissue, snacks, etc. Keep your mobile phone switched on at all times and be very observant of what is happening around you.

COVID-19 protocol: All COVID-19 protocols issued by the NCDC are expected to be observed in Polling Units.

All you need to know about the 2023 election process- Check polling unit
Re-confirm your polling units: It is also very important to check out your polling unit beforehand. Many people have no idea where their polling unit is or have even forgotten. It might not be at your LGA or the venue you registered/collected your PVC.

Click this link to find out how to check for your polling unit. Be sure your name is on the voters’ register in that polling unit.

On the election day
After the preparation, it is time to go out and cast our votes. By the way, just a friendly reminder, Saturday is also the election for National Assembly members.

How to vote: All you need to know about the 2023 election process
Resumption time: According to the INEC, the electoral activities will commence at 8:30 am and close at 2:30 pm. But before then, between 8 am – 8;30 am, the polling officer will display the empty ballot box and other electronic materials while explaining the procedures.

So, it is important to reach the polling unit very early. Although anybody who is in the queue before 2:30 pm shall be allowed to VOTE.

Accreditation process: Accreditation is the process of confirming if a voter’s name is in the register of voters in that polling unit. You will need your PVC for the accreditation process, and the Bimodial Verification Accreditation System (BVAS) will authenticate voters’ identification through fingerprint and facial recognition.

Ensure to look simple as possible so the device can authenticate you as anybody disapproved by this device will not be allowed to vote.

Once accredited, the polling officers will ink your finger cuticles to indicate that you have been accredited to vote.

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Voters at the polling unit in Northern Nigeria. Source: SkyNews
Voting process: The voting will be carried out simultaneously with the accreditation process. Once you have been confirmed and accredited, it is time to vote for your preferred candidates.

You will be given a ballot paper with the logos and abbreviation of all the political parties participating in the election. Confirm that the ballot paper is well-signed, stamped, and dated.
Once given, you will proceed to the cubicle, which already has the ballot box and a stamp ink pad. Phones are not allowed inside the polling booth.

You are advised to trim your fingernails or learn a unique technique to stamp your fingers without crossing out of the box because out of the line makes your vote VOID.
After voting, do not fold the paper as it can stain the sheet making your vote INVALID. Let it dry for a few seconds before you fold it outwardly and carefully slip it into the ballot box. Do not let anyone see who you voted for.

After Voting
After voting, you will get marked by the electoral officers in that polling unit. This is to avoid double voting. You can decide to go home after that, but it is encouraged to stay and monitor the process as a patriotic citizen to ensure everything is going smoothly.

If you decide to go home, you can still follow up on the elections’ updates and even your polling unit with the INEC verification portal (IReV). This works because at the end of the voting process in a polling unit, the polling officer will snap the result sheet with the BVAS and upload it on the verification portal.

So with this, you can follow up on all the results from each polling unit and state. After this, it is time to prepare for the governorship and state house of assembly elections slated for March 11th, 2023.

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