With the Nigerian general election in 2023 rapidly approaching, voters must be prepared and informed. Election day can be long and stressful, but if you prepare and plan ahead of time, you can make the most of your voting time.
Whether you’ve voted before or this is your first time, these suggestions will help you navigate the process and ensure a safe, fair, and efficient election day for everyone.
1. Bring your Permanent Voter Card (PVC)
This is the most crucial item on which you will vote. You won’t be able to vote unless you have it. Make sure you have it and that you keep it safe.
2. Plan your route
If you don’t know where your voting place is, find out ahead of time and plan your route. Allow ample time to get there and account for any traffic or transportation delays.
3. Bring identification
Bring other identification, such as a driver’s license, NIN, or passport, in addition to your PVC. This may be useful if there are any problems with your PVC or if you are required to provide further identification.
4. Get there early
Voting begins at 8:30 a.m., and if you want to depart early enough, you should arrive by 7 a.m. or 7:30 a.m. “The early bird gets the worm,” as the adage goes.
5. Be informed:
Before the election, spend some time learning about the candidates and their agendas. This will allow you to make an informed decision when you arrive at the polling place.
6. Bring a power bank
Voting can take many hours, and your phone’s battery may die. Carrying a power bank will ensure that your phone remains charged and that you can interact with friends and family while voting and afterward.
7. Dress appropriately
It’s critical to dress comfortably, especially if you’ll be standing in long lines. Wear loose-fitting clothing and shoes, and carry a hat or face cap to protect yourself from the sun.
8. Grab all you need for your comfort
A bottle of water, an umbrella, a handfan or an electric tiny fan, a foldable chair, and, of course, devices such as headphones/earpieces and a power bank should be included.
9. Bring water and snacks
Voting can be a time-consuming process, and you may become hungry or thirsty. Bring plenty of water and food to keep you energized and hydrated all day.
10. Be patient and calm:
Elections can be stressful, with tempers flaring. Even if the process takes longer than planned, it is critical to stay calm and patient. Remember, your vote is important!
11. Respect others
Remember to be courteous to others, particularly poll workers and fellow voters. Observe the polling station’s regulations and procedures and refrain from engaging in any sort of violence or harassment.
12. It’s your right to keep your voting choice confidential:
It is critical that you keep your vote private and do not reveal it to anybody, including family and friends. Your vote is your decision, and you have the right to keep it private. This also applies to avoiding wearing branded clothing, wearing a face cap, or wearing anything that signals who you favor.
13. Report any irregularities
Report any anomalies or issues you discover during the voting process to the proper authorities. Voter intimidation, ballot box stuffing, and other forms of election fraud may fall under this category.