23 February 2019

Nigeria: 10 Tips for a Stress-Free Election Day

Photo: BusinessDay/Twitter
Nigeria's 2019 presidential election.

With the campaigns done and dusted, and with you probably already sure of your candidate, it's time to vote in the leader who will be at the helm of Nigeria's affairs for the next four years. However, the weather, the crowds at most polling units, and more, will all be brought to bear on that day. And that's why we have for you some handy tips to help you go through Election Day as smoothly as possible.

Go ahead of time

This way, you'll be able to secure yourself a spot in the queue closer to the ballot box. It will also help you avoid and plan for any unseen circumstances on the day if you get to the polling unit early not mention save you the possible push and shove.

Wear something comfortable

Seeing that you'll probably be spreading most of the day at the polling unit, then comfortable clothes are your best option. Loose and breathable clothes if you're in a hot area, and sweaters if it's cold. Your footwear is also very important. Sneakers or comfortable flats are a good option.

Carry your medication

If you're asthmatic, then keep your inhaler handy. Same goes for those who take time-sensitive medications. You'll need to stay healthy to cast your vote without the need of any emergency intervention.

Stay hydrated

Keeping a bottle, or more, of water on hand will ensure you stay hydrated and not overwhelmed by thirst. A soft drink won't be a bad idea, too, if you're amenable, because of the sugar and glucose you could benefit from, for energy. As mentioned before, you might be spending a good chunk of the day there, and going back and forth in search for water won't be ideal.

Walk it if you can

It's likely that you're polling unit is close by. If that's the case, if the distance can be walked, then trekking would be better than going with your car. You'll save yourself the headache of finding a place to park, and the chance of parking far and not being able to keep an eye on your vehicle.

Eat before heading out

It's best not to go on an empty stomach, after all, you'll need all the energy you can get for the day and without the hunger bangs as well. It also goes without saying that if you can carry a few snacks on you, then do so, just in case.

Be watchful of your stuff

Valuables like your phone, watch and tablets should be highly guarded, otherwise you might just leave the venue without them. Don't be reckless, and consider not keeping your phone in your pockets too, there are bound to be a few pickpockets around.

Go with low-tech entertainment

An idle mind is the devil's workshop, they say. Not that we assume you'll engage in untoward behavior, but going to your polling unit with a book, a magazine, or any other reading material (like this very newspaper you're reading), will prove a smart move and provide you with invaluable entertainment to help you wait out the queues. The best part? Hard copies won't require charging.

Avoid arguments

Polling booths have all sorts of characters, the colourful and over-opinionated included. How do you stay away from much-unneeded drama? By avoiding arguments of any kind. If you chose No. 8 above, then you'll have no problem with this one, as you'll be engaged.

Don't forget your PVC

Last - and certainly not the least - do not forget that golden ticket that we're all going out to exercise today: Your permanent voter's card, or PVC as it's fondly called by politicians and their followers nationwide. Ensure it's the first thing you pick up in the morning.

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