Fresh reports reaching the desk of Africa Dailly News, New York has also revealed that the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) has openly warned that the inappropriate marking of some of the boxes or the space which had been provided on the ballot paper by voters may affect the outcome of the 2023 general elections.
While he had been stressing the need for all Nigerians to make sure that they vote correctly on the election day, the commission had also revealed that the voters must make sure that they follow the procedure for voting for their preferred candidate or party correctly or have such votes invalidated.
INEC’s director of voter education and publicity, Victor Aluko had also made this statement yesterday during his final stage of the Voter Education Innovative Dragons’ Den Competition which had been organised by Consortium for Elections and Political Process Strengthening (CEPPS) and International Foundation for Electoral Systems (IFES) in Abuja.
The project was organised for Nigerian Civil Society Organisations (CSOs) to pitch innovative proposals for effective and inclusive voter education campaigns in the build-up to the 2023 general elections.
Aluko said: “We have released the guidelines for the elections and even the list of candidates for the presidential and national assembly elections have also been released. As you are aware, the campaign starts today, September 28, and we are telling Nigerians to pay attention to the manifesto of political parties and what each candidate has to offer so that they can make their informed choices.
“Considering the size of the nation, all hands, therefore, should be on deck to provide voter education. Top on the lists of those who are to be involved in these is registered civil society organisations who have passions in civic responsibilities to educate the citizens to be alive to their responsibilities to issues like voting”.
Asked on what were the implications of Nigerians not voting properly on election day, he stated: “It is going to have a setback on the outcome of the election because if a voter has a choice to make but while at the polling booth, he or she is unable to mark the ballot paper properly, something drastic would happen because that voter may lose his or her vote for their preferred candidate. This means they may likely allow another candidate to take over their winning candidate. So it is important that voters mark ballot papers correctly.”
Aluko disclosed that Permanent Voters Cards (PVC) for persons captured in the Continuous Voters Registration (CVR) exercise would be ready between October and November.