2023 General Elections: 5 GSBers Share Their Voting Experience
The long-awaited voting day finally arrives in Nigeria, citizens across the country are casting their ballots to elect the next president and vice president, as well as members of the Senate and House of Representatives. With the outcome of these elections set to shape the future of the country for years to come, we spoke to some voters about their experiences at the polling stations.
Here’s what they had to say:
It was a seamless process. The same way it has been since I’ve been voting in this polling unit for the last 12 years. Everyone was respectful of each other, and things went smoothly. It took me a little over an hour from the time I got to the polling unit to vote.
The only issue was that the person on my PVC had hair on his head and nothing on his cheeks, while the person who came to vote had a beard on his cheeks and no hair on his head. 😃 The good thing was that I updated my profile on the INEC website, so a recent image of me is what is in the BVAS machine and the list of registered voters. For a hot minute, the Presiding Officer was looking at the picture in my PVC and the picture in the list of registered voters. I was handed the ballot papers after he was satisfied, and I cast my vote.
My experience was seamless. My polling unit was in the GRA where I live, so it was like a 2-minute walk from my house. Let’s stretch those legs a bit! 🤣
I got there at 9:56 a.m., thinking I’d be late, but I met like 15 people (if not less), and the INEC officials were already seated, like 4 of them (a lady and 3 men). I sauntered over, and they pointed me to the wall and asked me to check if my name was there. I walked over, scrolled through like 10 names, and then saw my name, number 12! Kimon! She then shouted, “Pls master your number o.” I say no wahala. She asked me to find out who was last in the queue. There was no line—only people sitting beneath canopies! I asked who was the last and proceeded to sit behind her. Soon enough, it was my turn.
I was asked for my PVC; she took it, asked for my number, looked through her list, and ticked my name. She passed my card to the man with the BVAS machine, my right and left thumbprints were scanned, and a photo of me was taken. Then it turned green! My body was sweetening me o.
Then they gave me three ballot papers. I then shouted, “This is my first time voting,” and they all laughed and clapped for me🤣… I was feeling special. I went to the booth; there was an ink pad; and I carefully, artistically placed my index finger on the box beside the name of my candidate. Did the same for other ballot papers and put them in the corresponding boxes. It was an exciting experience for me. This is one election process that I have been emotionally, prayerfully, and psychologically invested in! May our dream of a beautiful Nigeria we can all be proud of come to fruition!
I went there early with my neighbor. It’s inside the building I live in. 7:45 AM. We got there and started waiting for the INEC officials. Other people, some in their workout clothes, came to join us. The INEC officials arrived by 8 a.m. Three women. They started pasting the names on the wall for us to check. We checked, and I saw that I was number 178.
We joined a queue. I was number 2 on the queue because I and my neighbour were the first to get there. Accreditation started after the APO explained to us the voting process. I picked up my ballot paper after I was confirmed. The woman made a mistake in ticking off my serial number. She ticked 177 instead of 178. I corrected her. I didn’t go there to joke with them. I voted and left after a few minutes. I will go back for the counting by 2 PM.
Positives: It was a relatively smooth process.
Negatives: The officials were clumsy and looked clueless at times.
Honestly, it was okay on my end. It was my first time voting, and I didn’t know what to expect (but I expected the worst lol). I got there about 10 a.m. and was tagged No. 72. They prioritised the elderly, injured, and pregnant women, which was great. Aside from a few complaints from the crowd, the officers tried to work as civil as possible. I cast my vote at about 1:30pm. All in all, it wasn’t a crazy experience.
INEC officials came early; they were already seated around 9 a.m. or so when I got there. A policeman was there to give us numbers. Within 30 minutes, we started. The only issue I had was that they didn’t want me to vote because I fixed my nails. insisting I should remove it first. How na? I had to rough out that part. However, it was so smooth and peaceful.