The Nigerian Independent National Electoral Commission, (INEC) yesterday, Monday 14th January has issued out a set of guidelines for conducting the forthcoming general elections in Nigeria.
In the document, however, signed by INEC chairman, Professor Mahmood Yakubu, dated back to January 12, 2019, it explained that accreditation of voters and voting would take place simultaneously between 8:00 AM to 14:00 Hours.
The section on the method of voting also prescribed that the Permanent Voters Cards and Smart Card Reader shall remain instruments of identification of prospective voters.
GUIDELINES STIPULATED BELOW ARE AS FOLLOWS:
“Voting shall be by the Continuous Accreditation and Voting System (CAVS) procedures as specified in these Regulations and Guidelines, the Election Manual and any other Guide issued by the Commission.
“No person shall be allowed to vote at any Polling Unit/Voting Point Settlement/Voting Point other than the one at which his/her name appears in the Register of Voters and he/she presents his/her permanent voter’s card to be verified by the Smart Card Reader (SCR), or as otherwise determined by the Commission.”
It added that each voter should cast his/her vote in person at the Polling Unit/Voting Point Settlement/Voting Point where he/she registered or was assigned, in the manner prescribed by the Commission.
In addition, a separate queue would be created between men and women, where the culture does not allow the mingling of men and women.
According to the guidelines, Presiding Officers would also create a separate queue for People Living With Disabilities (PWDs).
INEC Issue Voting Guidelines For 2019 General Elections
According to Section 10 (b) of the guidelines, “accreditation and voting shall commence at 8.00 AM and close at 2:00 PM, provided that all voters already on the queue by 2:00 pm shall be allowed for accreditation and voting.
“(d) The accreditation process shall comprise reading of the Permanent Voter’s Card (PVC) and authentication of the voter’s fingerprint using the SCR; checking of the Register of Voter.”
Section 11 (v) of the guidelines also requested a voter to remove his/her cell phone or any photographic device before proceeding to the voting cubicle.
Also, section 11(c) stated that “where a voter’s PVC is read, but the name of the voter is not on the Register of Voters, APO II shall refer the voter to the PO or APO (VP) who shall politely request the voter to leave the Polling Unit.”
Section 11(d) also states that: “If the PVC fails to be read by the Smart Card Reader, the APO I shall refer the voter to the PO or APO (VP) who shall politely request the voter to leave the Polling Unit.’’
Subsection (e) added that “where a voter’s PVC is read and the SCR shows the details of another person, rather than the details of the cardholder as printed on the PVC, the APO I shall:
“(i) Refer the voter to APO II to confirm that the details of the voter in the Register of Voters correspond to those on the PVC;
“(ii) APO II if satisfied that the holder of the card is on the Register of Voters, shall record the phone number of the voter in the appropriate box on the Register of Voters; and
“(iii) Proceed with the accreditation of the voter.
“(f) In all cases from 11(b) to 11(e), the Presiding Officer shall fill the appropriate forms in the PU booklet and make a report.
“Affected voters in 11(b) and 11(e) qualify to be issued ballot papers after consultation with Polling Agents.”