14 February 2019

Nigeria: Voters Can Cast Their Ballot With Any Finger, Says INEC

Photo: New Times
A voter shows his thumbs with ink after voting.

The Independent National Electoral Commission has said that voters can cast their votes with any finger because the ballot paper is not finger sensitive.

It advised that what matters is that the finger does not cross to the next box; otherwise, it would be interpreted as voting for two parties, making such votes void.

The information is contained on the commission's verified Twitter handle @inecnigeria.

It stated this in response to what it described as 'fake news' that voters could only vote with a particular finger.

A message on Whatsapp, Facebook and Twitter had read, "INEC has changed pattern of voting without majority of citizens being aware o! You don't vote with your thumb anymore.

"You vote with your index finger (warning finger). Any vote cast with the thumb is void. My question is why were the citizens not sensitised before now?

"Why would INEC hide such important information till a few days to the election? Please, don't only read this, share for many would-be voters to be aware. The Destiny Of This Nation is now in our warning or prophetic finger."

But INEC said, "voters can use any finger on the ballot but should ensure that the mark is clear and placed in the box of the political party of their choice and does not stray into another box."

However, the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) has introduced a Parallel Voting Tabulation (PVT) System to prevent manipulation of the electoral process.

It also directed its members to remain at the polling units after casting their votes until they are counted and the results declared.

At a media briefing yesterday, its National Publicity Secretary, Kola Ologbondiyan and a former Aviation Minister, Osita Chidoka, said the PDP warned that any manipulation of the electoral process would engender serious consequences.

Expressing confidence that its presidential candidate, Atiku Abubakar, would win the election, it urged Nigerians to turn up massively for the elections, adding that their votes will count when they participate.

"Nigerians should go to the polls on Saturday, confident that the electoral process will be upheld based on our laws and constitution.

"We are pleased with the signing of the National Peace Accord today and look forward to all parties honouring our shared commitment," they stated.

Nigeria

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