Electoral Commission Educates Electorate On Voting

The Electoral Commission (EC) says it has put in place mechanisms to ensure that electorates cast their vote freely in the December 7 elections.

It would also, per their constitutional mandate, ensure that the votes of the electorate pass the litmus test of being counted.

According to ECs Guide dubbed: “What You Should Know,” persons who could not locate their voters ID card on the Election Day could be assisted by the Name Reference List Officer at the polling centres to find their names on the voters register to enable them to vote.

The guide says that those whose bio data could not be identified by the verification device could still vote by going through a manual verification process once their details are on the register and their bar codes had been scanned by the Biometric Verification Device.

It noted that ballot papers that do not have the validated stamp of the Commission will not be countered and cautioned the electorate to cautiously examine their ballot papers to make certain that it had the validated stamp of the Electoral Commission on it.

The EC also stated that the electorate had not only the right to insist that their ballot papers are stamped with the Commission’s validated stamp but also has the right to request for a new ballot paper if the one issued to them has on it any mark other than that of the Commissions’ validated stamp.

After voting, voters are directed to fold up their ballot papers vertically first and then horizontally to avoid their thumbprints making another imprint on another candidate or any part of the ballot paper which may cause their ballot paper to be rejected.

The guide also directed that a voter who, after thumb printing and before putting his or ballot paper into the ballot box, realises that he or she had made a wrong choice, made a multiple choice, torn the ballot paper or done anything that may cause the rejection of the ballot paper, can request for a fresh ballot paper to re-exercise his or her franchise.

The EC said preferential treatment would be given to the vulnerable to enable them to exercise their franchise freely and fairly.

The Commission explained that they have put in place mechanisms to provide reasonable auxiliary aids and services to improve accessibility to services and facilities by the disabled; this may include providing printed material in different formats or font sizes and the use of ductile ballot jacket to aid them to make their choices.