With the 2023 Nigerian general election just around the corner, it’s important for voters to be prepared and informed. Election day can be long and stressful, but if you plan ahead and get ready, you can make the most of your time voting.
Whether you’ve voted before or this is your first time, these tips will help you get through the process, ensure a safe, fair, and efficient election day for all.
- Bring your Permanent Voter Card (PVC): This is the most important item you’ll need to vote. Without it, you won’t be able to cast your ballot. Make sure you have it with you and keep it safe.
- Plan your route: If you’re not sure where your polling station is located, find out ahead of time and plan your route. Make sure to give yourself enough time to get there and factor in any traffic or transportation delays.
- Bring identification: In addition to your PVC, it’s always a good idea to bring additional identification such as a driver’s license, NIN or passport. This may come in handy if there are any issues with your PVC or if you’re asked to provide additional identification.
- Get there early: Voting starts by 8:30am and if you want to leave early enough, you should get there by 7am, or 7:30. Remember the saying, “the early bird gets the worm”.
- Be informed: Take the time to learn about the candidates and their platforms before election day. This will help you make an informed decision when you get to the polling station.
- Bring a power bank: Voting can take several hours, and your phone battery may run out of power. Bringing a power bank will ensure that your phone stays charged and you can communicate with friends and family during and after voting.
- Dress appropriately: It’s important to dress comfortably, especially if you’re going to be standing in long queues. Wear comfortable clothes and shoes, and consider bringing a hat or face cap to protect you from the sun.
- Grab all you need for your comfort: This should include a bottle of water, an umbrella, a handfan or an electric mini fan, a foldable chair, and of course, electronics like your headphones/earpiece and a power bank .
- Bring water and snacks: Voting can be a long process, and you may get hungry or thirsty. Bring enough water and snacks to keep you energised and hydrated throughout the day.
- Be patient and calm: Elections can be stressful, and tempers may flare. It’s important to remain calm and patient, even if the process takes longer than expected. Remember, your vote counts!
- Respect others: Remember to be respectful to others, including polling officials and fellow voters. Follow the rules and guidelines provided by the polling station and avoid engaging in any form of violence or harassment.
- It’s your right to keep your voting choice confidential: It’s important to keep your vote private and not share it with anyone, including family and friends. Your vote is your choice, and you have the right to keep it confidential. This also ties into avoiding branded clothes, a face cap, or anything that shows who you’re supporting.
- Report any irregularities: If you notice any irregularities or issues during the voting process, report them to the appropriate authorities. This may include things like voter intimidation, ballot box stuffing, or other forms of electoral fraud.
- Follow COVID-19 guidelines: Make sure to follow all COVID-19 guidelines provided by the polling station, including wearing a face mask, using hand sanitizers, and maintaining social distance.