Voting is more than your civic responsibility. It is your power In case you’ve ever wondered why you need to vote, here are five reasons why you should vote:
It is the least you can do to participate in the politics of your country: In Nigeria, we need more people to participate in the political process. We can’t afford to leave politics to a select few. The least we can do to participate is to vote.
You can effect change when you vote: Your vote counts. If you vote did not count, no one would bother to rig elections. When you vote, you can change the course of politics in the nation. You can get rid of bad leaders when you vote.
When you do not vote, you give up your voice: You have a voice in your community. When you do not vote, you give up your voice.
Voting gives you an opportunity to be part of the decision making process.
It is your constitutional right: Voting is your constitutional right. Exercise it!
There are some basic and important things every voter needs to know about voting.
First, a voter is a person who has a right to cast a vote in an election. In Nigeria, a voter is a citizen who is 18 years and above. Every voter has rights when exercising their civic responsibility of voting
Right to Register: Every citizen who is 18 years and above has a right to be registered to vote. No institution can deny any citizen from being registered to vote. In Nigeria, the electoral commission sets a designated period, in which citizens who have not registered can register with the body to cast their vote. Upon a successful registration, citizens are thereupon issued a voters card.
Right to vote: You have a right to cast your vote for whichever candidate you deem fit. The voters card enables you to vote during the elections.
Right to privacy when voting: Every voter has the right to mark their ballot papers secretly. In Nigeria, elections are conducted with the secret ballot system. This system is to encourage privacy when voting. You are entitled to the vote you cast.
As a voter, there are some things that you are required to know before casting your ballot:
A person cannot vote in Nigeria without a voters registration card.
Before the election day, locate your polling centre to avoid a last minute rush on the day of the election.
You have the responsibility to report electoral malpractices. To ensure we have a free and fair election, it is important to report cases of electoral malpractice to the appropriate authority for redress. Electoral malpractice can include; vote buying and selling, rigging of elections, falsifying results etc.
You are also obligated to encourage other accredited voters to vote.
Your voters card is not transferable. It cannot be sold
Every voter has the responsibility to obey the laws when voting. For a free and fair election to take place, there is a need for us all to adhere to the election rules and conduct ourselves in an orderly manner before, during and after the election.
Before election day, it is important you know the political party your preferred candidate belongs to. This is because the name and pictures of candidates are not inserted on the ballot paper. Instead, the name and logo of the party is affixed on the paper. If you are not acquainted with the party, you might be confused and cast a wrong vote.
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