Elections 2015

March 16, 2015

PVC: How you can vote if you have relocated

PVC: How you can vote if you have relocated

PVC test-run: INEC officials attending to a registered voter in the Port Harcourt Local Government Area Ward One, unit 23, during the card readers test-run in Rivers State, yesterday. Photo: Nwankpa Chijioke.

By Gbenga Oke

Many Nigerians would not vote in the forthcoming general elections simply because they have relocated from where they were originally registered. That, however, needs not be the case as the Electoral Act and the Independent National Electoral Commission, INEC have instituted regulations to guide the transfer of voters from one constituency to the other.

The essence of such transfer is to ensure that no Nigerian loses his right to decide on who should govern him under the nation’s democratic culture and it is because of this that the commission advises voters to register at the polling station nearest to them so that the polling station would be easily accessible on Election Day.

Whether you have relocated from one state to another or within the same state, the same regulations guide the transfer of a voter from one constituency to another.

Section 13 of the Electoral Act as amended provides the regulations to guide voters on transferring their voter’s cards from one polling station to the other.

First, the person must write an letter to INEC stating where he/she currently resides and the applicant should attach the present voter’s card to prove the claim.

The application should be addressed to the nearest INEC office at the local government or state level.

Upon receipt of the application, the Resident Electoral Commissioner will direct the Electoral Officer of the applicant’s local government area to enter his/her name in the transferred voters list.

Afterwards, the Electoral officer will assign the applicant to a polling unit in his constituency and the applicant will be issued with a new voters card. The previous voters card will be retrieved by the Electoral Officer

However, all applications for transfer must be submitted at least 30 days before the date of election. It thus means that anyone that has not commenced the process now is ineligible to vote.