I’ve picked up my Permanent Voters Card (PVC), but I’ve never voted before. How do we cast our votes on election day?

On January 12, the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) announced an extension of the deadline for Permanent Voter Cards (PVCs) collection. The Commission previously said it would end the PVC collection on 22 January but moved it to 29 January and then to 05 February to enable registered voters pick up their cards ahead of the polls in February and March.

In the past week, political parties like the Labour Party (LP) have begun voter education campaigns ahead of the polls, guiding voters on how to cast their votes on election day.

The elections are carried out in the following phases: accreditation of registered voters, voting via ballots, sorting of ballots, counting, announcing the votes scored by each party, collation and declaration of result.

On Election day, Voters will show up at the unit where they registered at the stipulated time with their Permanent Voter’s Card (PVC). Accreditation will begin using the Bimodal Voter Accreditation System (BVAS), which is a device introduced by INEC in 2021, aimed at stopping election fraud. The BVAS is able to perform dual identification of voters on election day through fingerprints and facial recognition. The system was put in place to stop people without valid PVCs from voting, and dissuade those who are ineligible to vote from attempting to vote.

The voter is then given a ballot paper and directed to a cubicle to make their choice by thumb/fingerprinting against their preferred party/candidate on the ballot paper in secret. When this is done, the voter will roll the ballot paper with the printed side inwards and flatten it before dropping it into the ballot box in the full view of all present.

When the last voter on the queue has voted, the ballots are sorted, counted and the votes scored by each contesting party/candidate and the rejected/spoilt ballots are announced and filled into the result sheet. The result is also entered into a form titled EC 60E and pasted at the polling unit. Once this is done, the results from the Polling Units are taken to the Registration Area for summation.

Do you have any questions regarding the 2023 elections? If so, now is your chance to get some answers, courtesy of The Republic.

Please leave any questions you have in the comments below or email us at [email protected]. Our editors will answer your questions ahead of the 2023 elections.

Remember, there are no ‘dumb questions’!

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