process for voting – Nigerians turning out to vote on March 28 and April 11 will follow almost the same steps in exercising their preference on voting day. On the two voting days, polls are expected to open as from 8.00 a.m. when accreditation of voters will commence.
STEP 1. As soon as the voter arrives at the polling unit, he will present his voter card to the presiding officer who will carry out the process of verification, identification and authentication using the card reader. The card reader will prop up the bio-data of the voter including his picture and finger prints.
This first step would authenticate the voter card to be genuine or not. If genuine, the voter would be passed on to the next stage. If not genuine, the possessor of the voter card would be asked to leave the polling station and failure to adhere to the instruction would prompt the presiding officer at the station to order security men to arrest or compel the person to leave the polling station.
STEP 2. If the card reader authenticates the voter as having an authentic voter card, he will be taken through the next step of the accreditation process which is to biometric exercise which is to confirm that the person with the valid voter card really owns the card.
This process would involve placing either the index finger or thumb at the top of the card reader for the purpose of matching the finger print with the one embedded in the voter card. Then he will be certified for voting.
Given the experience from the mock exercise penultimate Saturday, it would be expected that some fingerprints may not be read.
In such cases based on the judgment of the presiding officer, such persons who fail the biometrics would be passed on to the next stage of voting but note will be taken of such cases in an incident form available at the station.
All voters accredited to vote will be given a number based on when they were accredited.
STEP 3. At the end of accreditation officially by 1 pm, voting will begin and the supervisory presiding officer and his assistants will then arrange the voters in an orderly manner beginning from the first person to arrive the voting area.
STEP 4. The voter will mention the number which was given to him during the accreditation and this will guide the presiding officer to check through the INEC register to cross check that it was still the same person that was accredited that has turned up to vote.
STEP 5. If confirmed that the person was the same person accredited earlier, the presiding officer will issue him a ballot paper to go and exercise his franchise.
On March 28, voters will be issued three ballot papers one each for the presidential, senatorial and house of representative elections. The ballot papers are customized for each position. The presidential ballot is red, senatorial ballot is black while the House of Representatives ballot is green in colour.
STEP 6. Three ballot boxes would be provided each for the three elections and they are also customized in line with the ballot papers. The voter will cast his ballot in respect of the ballot paper.
STEP 7. After the last voter on the queue would have cast his ballots, the presiding officer will begin with the process of sorting of the ballots from the three ballot boxes and dropped in their rightful places that is the presidential, senatorial and house of representatives.
Following that the ballots for the different parties would be sorted and counted.
STEP 8. The voter is expected to wait if he or she likes for the counting and announcement of the outcome of the election; but voters must do so in an atmosphere of peace. However, any voter who wants to leave after voting is equally free to do so.
STEP 9: At the end of the counting, the presiding officer would announce the result at the polling station and place the results in a conspicuous place around the station.
NOTE: The 2015 election on April 11 will be for the office of governor in 29 states and House of Assembly in all 36 states of the federation. The states where governorship elections will not hold are Bayelsa, Kogi, Osun, Ekiti, Ondo, Anambra and Edo states.