Nigeria: General Elections 2019
Countdown to Saturday, 23 February 2019, 08:00:00 (Lagos time)

What Happens on Election Day?
  • On each Election Day, polling stations will open for Accreditation and Voting from 8:00am to 2.00pm. However, voters on the queue before the close of poll at 2:00pm will be accredited and allowed to vote.

IMPORTANT: No person will be allowed to vote at a polling unit other than the one where he/she registered and got accredited.

To vote in the  elections, one must:

  • Be a Nigerian citizen.
  • Be 18 years and above.
  • Possess a Permanent Voter Card (PVC)
  • Be in the Register of Voters where he/she is assigned to vote

Remember: Voters who do not possess PVC will not be accredited and, consequently, will not be able to vote.

The Presiding Officer (PO) at the polling unit will:

  • Allow voters into the polling unit in an orderly queue.
  • Where culture disallows men and women mingling on a queue, create separate queues for men and women.
  • Introduce polling agents and poll officials present, including the Asst. Presiding Officer (APO) I who will:
  • Request the voter to present his/her PVC,
  • Read the PVC using the Card Reader, and
  • Request the voter to place the appropriate finger on the Card Reader for authentication.
  • On being authenticated, the voter will present himself/herself to APO II who will request for his/her PVC,
  • Check the Register of Voters for the records of the voter,
  • Tick as appropriate on the Register and apply indelible ink on the specified finger of voter’s left hand, and
  • Issue the voter an accreditation tag

Voting at the polling unit will be as follows:

  1. At the polling unit, join the queue. An INEC official will check if you are at the correct polling unit and confirm that the PVC presented belongs to you.
  2. An INEC official will confirm if your PVC is genuine using the card reader. You will be asked to place your finger on the card reader.
  3. An INEC official will ask for your PVC and confirm you are listed in the Voters Register. Your name will be ticked and your finger will be inked to confirm you have voted. If your name is not found you cannot vote.
  4. The Presiding officer will stamp, sign and endorse your ballot paper. You will be given the ballot paper rolled with the printed side inwards and directed to the voting cubicle.
  5. Stain your finger with the ink given and mark the box for your preferred candidate/party. Roll the ballot paper in the manner you were given and flatten it.
  6. Leave the voting cubicle and drop the ballot paper in the ballot box in full view of people at the Polling Unit.
  7. Leave the Polling Unit or wait if you so choose, in an orderly and peaceful manner, to watch the process up to declaration of result.

N.B The result of each Polling Unit shall be pasted at the unit for everyone to see.

IMPORTANT: A voter living with a disability will be assisted to vote in the polling unit by a person chosen by him/her, other than a poll agent. Where available, visually impaired voters may use Assistive Tactile facilities.

No person shall on the Election Day do any of the following in the polling environment:

  • Campaign for votes, or persuade a voter not to vote for a candidate;
  • Shout slogans concerning the election, or in support of any party
  • Be in possession of an offensive weapon or wear any apparel calculated to intimidate voters;
  • Use a vehicle bearing the color or symbol of a political party or candidate;
  • Loiter without lawful excuse after voting or after being refused to vote;
  • Snatch or destroy any election materials; and
  • Blare siren.

No, phones are prohibited in the polling booth.

Report election offences to the INEC situation room on election day. The number to reach the situation room will be communicated to the public before the election day.

You can also download the myINEC App for the Google Play Store and report incidents to the Commission.

WHO IS A VOTER?
A voter is a person who has the right to participate in an election by an elector. In Nigeria, a voter is a citizen who is 18 years old and above, is duly registered and whose names and details are in the register of voters. In effect, anyone who can exercise the right to vote is a voter. However, not all voters can be voted for. Anyone who contests in an election and votes is not only a voter for the purpose of that election, but also a candidate. He therefore plays a dual role at the time he is standing for an election. In the Nigerian context, such a person can only contest as a candidate on the platform or sponsorship of a political party.

To be registered as a voter, an individual must be:
I. A citizen of Nigeria;
II. Has attained the age of eighteen (18) years;
III. Ordinarily resident, work in, originate from the Local Government Area (LGA), Council, ward covered by the registration officers of the Commission for registration as a voter;
IV. Free from any incapacity to vote under any law in Nigeria;
V. Present him/herself to the registration officer of the Commission for registration as a voter; and
VI. Must not be subject to any incapacity to vote under any law in Nigeria.

RIGHTS OF THE VOTER
The rights of every Nigerian citizen are entrenched in chapter four of the 1999 Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria.
A right is a moral or legal claim to have or get something or to behave in a particular way. It refers to the things or activities to which a Nigerian citizen is lawfully entitled, without fear of prosecution, discrimination or any form of hindrance. Within the electoral process, these rights include the following:-

Right to register:
It is the right of every qualified citizen to register to vote during the 2019 general elections. This right is guaranteed by the constitution and cannot be denied any potential qualified citizen. However, the Commission has suspended the registration exercise in order to get the voters’ register ready for the 2019 elections. The register has to be certified, published and made available to the Political Parties at least 30 days to the elections. The Continuous Voter Registration exercise will resume after the 2019 general elections for eligible individuals to register.

Right to vote and be voted for when registered:
Every person who has satisfied the requirements laid down by the law is eligible to vote and be voted for. However, a voter will only be able to exercise that right if he/she is in possession of a valid voter’s card, his/her name is on the Register of Voters and he/she turns up at the polling unit between 8:00am to 2:00pm on Election Day. To be a candidate, one must fulfill the legal requirements which vary depending on the type of elective office involved.
To be voted for, a person has to put himself forward as a candidate for an elective office. This can only be done through the sponsorship of a political party.

Right to recall an elected representative:
A voter has a right to participate in the process of recall of an elected legislator. To recall means to summon back and withdraw the mandate given to an elected legislator through an election. A candidate once elected to the Senate, House of Representatives or House of Assembly can be recalled by the registered voters of the affected constituency.

Right to secrecy (privacy) when voting:
Voters have the right to mark their ballot papers (make their choices) in secret. The voting exercise in an election situation in most developing countries especially in Africa, South of the Sahara, is sometimes fraught with dangers and bitter conflicts. In order to avert assault and open attacks, polling booths often provide privacy and security for voters.

Right to attend Rallies and Campaigns of Political Parties and Candidates:
A voter has the right to attend the campaigns of Political Parties and Campaigns during the build-up to the 2019 general elections in order to receive information about the programmes they intend to implement if voted into office. This will enable the voter to decide on which candidate to vote for.

Right to Information About Election:-
A voter has a right to be informed about the details of the elections such as the time, date, procedure, etc.

VOTER RESPONSIBILITIES
Ideally, there are no rights without responsibilities. Responsibilities are those duties and activities, which the citizens of a state are expected to be involved in, to demonstrate their love, commitment, loyalty, patriotism and selflessness to the nation. Within the electoral process, such responsibilities are as follows:

Responsibility to register:
It is the duty of every eligible citizen to register and ensure that his or her name is correctly listed on the register of voters in the area where he or she intends to cast his/her vote.
This can be achieved by crosschecking the Preliminary Register of Voters during display for claims and objections for any irregularity on the registrant’s details and acting accordingly.

Responsibility to Vote:
This is perhaps a voter’s most important responsibility. On Election Day, each voter is expected to take his/her permanent voter’s card and proceed to the polling unit in his/her neighborhood where his/her name is listed on the voter’s register.

Responsibility to conduct oneself in an orderly manner:
For a free and fair election to take place, it is important that voters comply with all laws and regulations governing the electoral process so as to ensure peace and orderliness. Hence, it is the responsibility of the voter to conduct him/herself in an orderly manner before, during and after the election and encourage others to act in similar fashion.
Towards this end, the voter is supposed to wait for his turn on the queue, obey the directives of electoral officials, cast his/her vote peacefully. After casting the vote, the voter should leave the polling zone to avoid unnecessary clustering which may result in conflict. Grievances, if any, should be channeled through the appropriate quarters, using the legal machinery put in place, rather than resorting to illegal actions.

Responsibility to keep Permanent Voter Card safe:
The Permanent Voter’s Card which is issued to every voter qualifies him/her to vote in an election. This card must be kept safe. It is not transferable. It must not be sold, given to another person or damaged.
To prevent the PVC from damage or loss, the voter must:
¬ Keep it safe and only come out with it on Election Day to cast his/her vote;
¬ Not sit on it as this can lead to the destruction of its antenna. A broken antenna makes the PVC unusable;
¬ Keep it away from direct sunlight, heat, water or wet surface;
¬ Not bend it..

Responsibility to enlighten others about the benefits of participation:
Voters should encourage others about the benefits of registering and voting during elections. This will help reduce apathy and ensure that a good number of voters participate in electing candidates into various elective positions.

Copyright © 2019 INEC

Connect with INEC

Enter your details below. All Fields are required.