By Jude Opara
It is imperative for the voters to know that no person shall be allowed to vote at any Polling Unit other than where he/she had registered and was duly accredited.
Accreditation begins at 8 am and ends by 1 pm or until the last person on the queue before 1 pm is accredited. After that, voting commences at 1:30 pm or whenever the accreditation process ends.
The Presiding Officer, after setting up the Polling Unit layout in the approved manner shall explain the voting procedure to the voters by informing them that the voting process is about to begin.
The presiding officer is expected to at this point remind the people that the voting in the unit is for only those that registered there as well as haven been accredited.
The presiding officer will equally educate the voters on what they should be issued with including; a stamped, signed and dated ballot paper because if any of these is mistakenly omitted, the person’s vote would be rejected and would not count.
When casting the vote, it is important that the voter thumb-prints in only one box, that is the box of his or her chosen party, also a ballot paper folded vertically inward would be given to the voter, it is highly important that the voter folds it in the same manner after thumb-printing and place it in the ballot box. This is to ensure that the thumb-print does not smear on another party and render the vote invalid.
The voter must also be very careful not to write anything or make any other mark on the ballot except for his or her thumb-print as anything to the contrary will invalidate the vote.
The presiding officer while maintaining the first come, first served order, should however give priority to the physically challenged persons, nursing mothers and the elderly who cannot stay long on the queue.
Also he must check the cuticle of the appropriate finger/thumb-nail of the voter to confirm that he or she has been accredited and received the number tag for easy location of voter’s name on the Register.