Explainer: Eight things voters must know ahead elections

Ahead of the February 25 and March 11 elections, there are basic things that eligible voters must know before approaching their polling units.

Status Verification:

It is important that voters verify their status on the website provided by the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) at to ascertain the validity of their Permanent Voters’ Card (PVC).

If you are a registered voter, check your status via link above, as it is seamless, innovative and reliable.

To fill the form, each voter should fill in the state where they registered, surname, first name and the date of birth, to confirm eligibility status, ahead of election days

Polling units

Voters need to know that following the recent creation of 176,846 polling units, as against the previous 12000, INEC has moved some voters to new polling units.

It has therefore become necessary for voters to verify which polling unit they are expected to cast their votes before the election dates.

This is important because INEC has limited the number of voters to one 750 per polling unit, for easy accreditation, voting, collation as well as transmission of votes to their portal

Where a polling unit has more than 750 registered voters, it is very likely that the ‘excess’ number will be migrated to other areas.

The criterion for determining who to migrate is simply alphabetical. The names are counted in alphabetical order (A – Z); the first 750 are retained in the polling unit, while the rest are migrated. It does not matter if one has been a consistent voter in all the electoral cycles.


Having a valid PVC is no longer a guarantee that you will vote. If your name has been migrated to another polling unit from where you’ve been used to (even if you made no request for change of location ) in line with the above reason, on voting day, you may not be allowed to vote there, if you have been migrated elsewhere.


Voters must also be conscious of the fact that INEC has changed its accreditation system, as such; accreditation will begin by 8.30am and end at 2.30pm. However, those on the queue at the time of closing will be allowed to vote.


There will be one Bimodal Voter Registration System (BVAS) machine per polling unit (PU) that will be used for accreditation of voters as well as to transmit results to the Election Result Viewing Portal (IReV). However, INEC has asked that voters should not panic where a BVAS machine malfunctions, because it has a back-up system.

According to Ayo Aluko, INEC director of Voters Education and Publicity, the BVAS will be used to capture each voters’ details, scan the form and send to the portals to avoid multiple voting.

Read also: Here are Meta’s plans to support Nigeria’s 2023 elections


When voting, voters must be careful when thumb printing on a ballot box provided also, as each thumbprint must be on the space provided so that their choice will be clear. Where the ink touches the lines, such a vote will be considered invalid and voided.


INEC has assured that maximum security arrangements have been made by the security agencies to protect all stakeholders, including voters, election observers, INEC ad-hoc staff before, during and after the election

Election Materials

Going by the commission’s preparations, it is expected that both sensitive and non- materials will get to each polling units as early as 8.00am on each election day to ensure a stress-free process for voters.

“This time around, recording will be very fast and we expect that voters will arrive early, get accredited and vote, and that the results will be transmitted early too< according to Aluko.

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